Cornwall is “open for business” after the storms
The South West is “open for business” despite being deluged and severed from the rest of UK – and it is using social networking site Twitter to make sure the rest of the UK knows.
Hundreds of Twitter users –from businesses to broadcasters - have been tweeting and re-tweeting using the hashtag #openforbusiness.
The phrase was coined after leading officials including Cornwall Council leader John Pollard and Sandra Rothwell, representing the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, met with State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin.
The meeting was to discuss the issue and ask for the support from the Government regarding the issue of the rail link at Dawlish and other transport issues.
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Mr Pollard said at the time: “The key message is that Cornwall remains open for business.”
The message was also reiterated by Plymouth City Council leader Tudor Evans said: “We need to get the message out that although the rail link is broken – the South West remains open for business.”
Jason Clark, from DCA Public Relations in Cornwall, has since been helping to spread the word across social networks and now #openforbusiness is trending across the South West.
“It has really taken off and seems to have struck a chord”, said Mr Clark. “We’re using social media to get the ball rolling but there’s a lot more to come.”
Flooding and a landslip in Somerset yesterday came just days after the main line was washed away at Dawlish.
In response FlyBe has announced it is doubling the number of flights between Newquay and Gatwick three to six daily.
Already BBC South West correspondent Jon Kay and the managing director of Parkdean Holidays have tweeted their support to their many followers.
Jon Kay @jonkay01 tweeted: “Parts of the South West of England may be flooded and cut off - but this region is telling the world it's still#openforbusiness Pls RT
Mr Clark said it shows that despite everything the region is accessible and operating.
He has even tweeted Prime Minister David Cameron @Number10gov “the South West is using #openforbusiness to show that we won't be beaten by the weather. Please RT to spread the word.”
“It’s this whole idea that we are all in this together. I am really pleased about the support that has been shown by so many but we really need to keep it, particularly with half-term nearly upon us.”
Cornwall Hour @CornwallHour tweeted: “Remember local traders are still working hard despite the weather & are #openforbusiness so if shopping please support them #cornwallhour”
Cornwall and Devon’s leaders have also written to the PM demanding urgent action from the Government to restore rail connections to the rest of the country as quickly as possible.