A VIRTUAL high street service is set to launch in Colchester this week with the aim of supporting independent businesses.

Click It Local will launch in the town today.

The service looks to help out independent businesses who remain closed due to lockdown restrictions.

Residents anywhere in the town and surrounding area can purchase goods from any participating shop and have it delivered on the same day.

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From weekly food essentials, gifts and treats to last-minute basics, customers can buy everything they need from a wide range of places.

The scheme has been announced in partnership with Colchester Borough Council and the Our Colchester BID, who are helping with retailer acquisition and engagement.

Stores who have signed up include Becana’s café, Darcy’s Traditional Sweet Shoppe, and Crystal Dreams.

Gazette: This butcher's shop is one of many businesses to benefitThis butcher's shop is one of many businesses to benefit

Steve Koch, founder of Click It Local, said: “I love shopping locally so wanted to find a way to help small shops offer the same level of speed and convenience that today’s online customers have come to expect.

“Our aim is to ensure we can all continue to shop local, support independent shops and provide for the community.”

A Colchester Borough Council spokesman added: “We are really pleased to help bring ‘Click it Local’ to Colchester. This is a real boost to Colchester’s independent retailers and will help retain the character and heritage of small shopping streets in the town.”

“It is also an opportunity for people to discover the rich source of independent shops not only in Colchester, but across north Essex, with Amazon-style consolidation and delivery service.

“Initiatives like this are crucial to retaining jobs and assisting the High Street’s recovery following lockdown.”