If the people of Sheffield weren’t aware of the vibrant Antiques Quarter right under their noses, they must be now.
The Quarter is a 1.5-mile stretch with
about 15 centres and shops selling antique, retro, vintage and arts
Less than three months into a campaign
to revive its fortunes and promote the area, just south of the city
centre, to Sheffield's inhabitants and beyond, progress has been
remarkable, paving the way for what could well provide a template
for other towns and cities in the UK to follow.
Pictured here, for instance, are just
two images from a portfolio taken by Amie Parsons in a photo shoot
organised by Jennie Beard, who runs Hansley Beard Events and
Wedding Design Studio on Abbeydale Road in the Quarter.
The photo shoot took place in antiques
and retro shops with models dressed up in vintage and retro attire
to show what is on offer, and the pictures are now being used to
market the Quarter.
It's just one of the activities
prompted by the Sheffield Antiques Quarter group formed in the past
couple of months by local retailers, politicians and interest
groups. Chaired by Contemporary art dealer Hendrika Stephens, it is
already active on social media sites Facebook and Twitter,
promoting the Quarter and its activities and this, in turn, has
attracted wider media interest from local newspapers and radio
Mrs Stephens has been delighted by the
way everyone has come together to work on the project, "from those
willing to put time and energy into developing the proposals to
others willing to offer free professional services to help move
A subgroup is working with Marketing
Sheffield to develop branding, and illustrator Dan Potter is
putting the finishing touches to a draft logo for road signs and
"While obviously the area will be
looking to invest in brown signage and collective marketing, the
current offers of help enable things to move forward quickly while
the group still finds its feet," said Mrs Stephens.
"Although it's realised that
development will be financially beneficial to the businesses
involved, the Quarter passionately believe that it is as much about
bringing improvement to the area and raising awareness of this
vibrant part of town."
Particularly important has been the
"100% backing" from the city council, which is offering
across-the-board support from its Enterprise Team and others, to
include individual business support and social media training. The
group has also been consulting county tourism body Welcome To
Yorkshire about plans to promote the Quarter further afield. And
ATG have also been providing the group with information and advice
where possible. We first reported on the initiative on the front
page of ATG No 2039, May 5.
Howard Greaves, of Dronfield Antiques
in the Quarter, a business established in 1968, echoed many
people's sentiments about the initiative, saying: "This is
fantastic news for Sheffield and it will be a major boost for the
"I was there during the 1980s when we
were a magnet for national and international trade and in those
days there were over 40 antique shops in the area. If you count the
individual pitches in all the antique centres, we are now way above
double that figure and back in strength. Sheffield has become a
worthwhile port of call once again and hopefully we'll see those
vans with the foreign number plates as well as the tourists once
Meanwhile Mrs Stephens said: "Actions
speak louder than words and we can't fault the council for the
spontaneous response they have had to recent developments and their
positive attitude. They also clearly recognise the need for the
Quarter to lead itself in the knowledge that this will have the
greatest chance of sustainable success."
If all goes according to plan, there
will be an official relaunch of the Quarter at the end of
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