TRADERS in Sheffield have launched an initiative to promote the city’s antiques quarter that could provide a template for other parts of the country to follow.
Working closely with the council and
county tourism body Welcome To Yorkshire, the traders' action group
has already set about developing a strategic marketing plan and a
programme of one-to-one support for each business within the
quarter, centred on Broadfield Road in the Heeley area of the
Hendrika Stephens, owner of
contemporary art business The Corner Gallery, is the driving force
behind the initiative. She told ATG that not only had antiques
dealers shown eager support, but that the wider business community
was also keen to get involved.
"What shocked us most was that people
living in Sheffield didn't even know we were here," she said, "but
there are at least half a dozen antique centres, as well as a large
number of other shops, covering everything from antiques to
vintage, retro and contemporary art.
"There are around 60 shops on
Abbeydale Road alone. They used to depend on European traders
coming over and buying wholesale, but that has largely gone
Mrs Stephens says that the council's
active support has been key to the success of the initiative so
"It's not about asking them for a lot
of money, more making better use of the resources they already
"The council have been fantastic, and
local businesses are willing to invest in a marketing plan because
in these times they understand that we have to raise awareness of
the quarter locally, countywide and beyond."
The action group is already devising
an antiques trail for the quarter and looking at putting up a
network of brown tourism signs from the M1 to the city
Further consultation is now taking
place to decide on other measures.