WREXHAM Glyndŵr University’s Horticulture Wales project is backing small businesses who ‘support local’ this Christmas with a collection of festive window displays.

The decorative windows have been designed to showcase the efforts of shops backed by Horticulture Wales who work hard to help local producers, whilst reducing food miles and offering best quality for customers.

A variety of shops across Wales are promoting and selling local produce and have received support from Horticulture Wales through a ‘short-supply chain cluster’.

Rob Standring, owner of Rhydymwyn General Stores in Flintshire, stocks a range of goods and everyday essentials and is passionate about supporting local producers.

Rob said: “I am proud to support a range of local producers, and our customers love it too. We opened in 2017 and have worked hard to be a hub for the local community, listen to our customers, and provide a platform for local businesses to be successful. We have just been nominated for our second ‘Rural Oscar’, and ‘supporting local’ is a big part of that. We hope everyone will enjoy seeing our Festive window.”

The shop sells the Horticulture Wales-supported Bryn Cocyn Organic Apple Juice, as well as locally made preserves and beers from Mold-based producer Hafod Brewery and Black Mountain honey, to name but a few.

Another venue that will be seeing their windows brightened for Christmas is Tŷ Pawb in Wrexham, which will also be joining in the celebrations by hosting a mini Christmas pop-up market for Horticulture Wales’ ‘Short Supply-Chain Cluster’.

The market will run during December, and visitors will be able to buy from stalls selling a range of goods from local producers supported by Horticulture Wales and the Enhancing Entrepreneurship Team.

Laura Gough, business development manager at Wrexham Glyndŵr University, said: “This is a great way to show people just how important it is for local shops to champion ‘short-supply chains’, and support our local growers and producers. We also have a young design entrepreneur, Megan Stokes, working with us on this project which showcases her artistic talents while giving these shops some festive cheer.”

Laura explained how Megan is a Glyndŵr University graduate whose “eye-catching work is really making waves”. Miss Stokes illustrated children’s books, prints, cards, fabric and personalised commissions whilst also selling work at local craft fairs.

Megan said: “When I first heard about this project, I was excited because I am passionate about supporting local and small businesses, especially at Christmas time! Being an artist myself, I know how hard it can be to run a business with online competitors but with such varied and unique products on your doorstep, why shop anywhere else?”

If you are a local grower, or producer, or are looking to stock produce for your business, Horticulture Wales can offer free support. The Enhancing Entrepreneurship Team in Wrexham Glyndŵr University supports local enterprises, helping them grow, promoting inclusivity, learning and creativity in working with others.

Funded by The Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, the project provides Welsh horticultural businesses with practical support, and highlights the importance of sustainability for local growers and producers in communities across Wales.

It also encourages the development of short supply chains between producers and growers and helps to reduce single use plastic waste.