Sheffield Antiques Quarter is planning a November 25 Christmas fair as its official opening, but it has effectively already relaunched.
Revitalising the quarter, which is
home to six antique centres and a further 14 shops, was the
brainchild of Contemporary art dealer Hendrika Stephens of The
Corner Gallery in Heeley Bank Antiques Centre, on Queens Road, who
started drumming up interest earlier this year.
She now chairs the development group
and has been delighted by the widespread support for the
enterprise, which now has committees handling marketing, events and
the quarter's website.
Joe Lachowicz, who runs retro
dealership Timewarp Collectables has designed the antiques quarter
logo, shown below, basing the design on a mix of street signs, the
Yorkshire Rose and Sheffield's bus livery.
Local graphic and web design company
Brightstar Creative have designed a colour gatefold flyer, with an
annotated map and listing, showing where all the businesses are,
together with travel and contact information.
Thousands of the flyers promoting the
quarter have been delivered to the surrounding area and have also
have been distributed to tourist information offices and libraries
in the city.
The steering group have submitted an
application for banners which would hang from lampposts in the
quarter, and are now looking into applying for brown tourism signs
further afield to direct people to the area, although these cost
£1500 each, so it may take some time to raise the necessary
Above: the new antiques quarter logo, which
was designed by local retro dealer Joe Lachowicz of Timewarp
Sheffield City Council has continued
to offer advice and support, but the improvements in the quarter
have been paid for by the retailers themselves.
"We believe people will value
what they have more if they have had to put their hands in their
pockets to pay for it," says Hendrika. It also helps the quarter to
be more independent and economically self sustaining.
The revitalisation drive is already
reaping benefits. Footfall is noticeably up, the area is attracting
more families, and there have even been new food shops taking space
where before units lay empty.
Adding to the attraction is the
council's policy of allowing the windows of empty shop units to be
used for promoting the area. Students from the nearby Source Skills
Academy for Retail have created display windows in a number of
empty shops using material and stock gathered from the art,
antique, vintage and retro shops in the quarter.
"Everybody who walks by them stops for
a closer look," says Hendrika, "they are becoming a local
attraction in themselves."
The vintage Christmas fair in November
will bring in market stalls, musicians and themed festive fun as
well as showcasing the best the shops in the quarter can
And to keep everyone's stock,
presentation and service up to scratch, the quarter expect to
introduce a Secret Shopper, who will visit shops incognito and
report back to the steering group with constructive