THE owner of Settle's Courtyard Dairy cheese shop and café says he was surprised to discover just how much he spent within a 40 mile radius of the business.

Andy Swinscoe decided to carry out an analysis of bills paid out over the last year after seeing a diagram of an American farmstead cheese-maker showing how much of its turnover went back into its community.

“I always knew in my heart that supporting small local enterprises helps to keep a community vibrant,” he said.

"After seeing what the American farmstead cheese-maker had done, I thought we’d do a similar analysis.”

He analysed the bills his business had paid during the last year and worked out how much money had been spent locally.

“I appreciate that it is often much harder to use local enterprises rather than opting for the convenience of shopping online – for example they are often not open for as long as larger retailers, and are sometimes located in areas where it is difficult to park," he said.

" And while I emphasise to all who work at The Courtyard Dairy the importance of doing things right – offering amazing service, supporting the local community, stocking an amazing range of superb cheese that people will come back for, for example – I wanted to see exactly how much a community might benefit if we all try to use local suppliers and retailers wherever possible.”

His analysis of The Courtyard Dairy’s receipts and payments showed that for every £1 spent by customers at the shop and café, almost 40p was re-spent by The Courtyard Dairy in businesses within 40 miles, and a further 41p was spent with other small enterprises, most of them independent family businesses.

“I was delighted to see the results, and knowing that last year we invested so much back into the locality and with traditional family farms, made the extra effort it might take all the more worthwhile. That’s a result for everyone.”