Local businesses have joined forces to help launch a campaign to clean up Newton Aycliffe.
Durham County and Aycliffe town councillor Nev Jones has launched the Keep Aycliffe Tidy (KAT) campaign with support from local employer Gestamp Tallent.
Gestamp has sponsored a set of 50 branded high-vis vests, t-shirts and caps for volunteer litter-pickers as part of the town-wide campaign.
Sarah Carlton, from local graphic design agency, Design by Kinship, created the branding and the clothing was embroidered by Aycliffe firm C&A Embroidery and Print, while KAT is also being supported by Martin Walker from Aycliffe-based Mantis Media.
Lib Dem councillor Nev said: “Gestamp have been absolutely wonderful sponsoring such a large amount of money.
“We’re also grateful to all the businesses who’ve chipped in and played their part so far. It’s been a brilliant team effort.
“It’s a big push now to clean Aycliffe up. It’s a shame we have to pick other people’s rubbish up, but we’re going to do it and hopefully instil a bit of pride in the town.”
KAT will soon be launching a Facebook page, where local residents can register their interest to volunteer for litter picking, as well as report problem areas on the town.
Gestamp plant director Jonathan Phillips said: “It’s a great initiative. It’s something worthwhile sponsoring from a Gestamp perspective and cements our role in the community and something we’re really proud to be part of.
“It’s really important to keep Aycliffe tidy in terms of the health and hygiene of the area, and the town’s reputation.
“Social distancing and Covid hasn’t helped, when you see face masks around the business park, it doesn’t look great to visitors in the area and, of course, our employees.
“So to support an initiative like this is very worthwhile. We do some litter picking ourselves as part of our plant initiatives to keep our areas outside and inside clean and tidy.
“It should be the same for everyone else on the business park and for everyone to play their part.
“If everyone does a little bit. then it becomes a lot easier for everyone.”
• Pictured above: Councillor Nev Jones joins Sarah Carlton from Design by Kinship, Jonathan Phillips from Gestamp, Laura Flood from C&A Embroidery, volunteer Toni Jones, Martin Walker from Mantis Media and junior volunteer litter-pickers to launch the Keep Aycliffe Tidy campaign.