Rita Britton, who owns Nomad Atelier a designer fashion label based in the Tobacco Warehouse, is working alongside neighbouring businesses to raise awareness of the products on offer from local retailers both in-store and online.
The campaign aims to boost trade in the town’s Victorian Arcade and surrounding area, and has been spearheaded by Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre (BBIC), through Enterprising Barnsley, the business support arm of the council.
Through the use of social media, events and collaboration between businesses, as well as improving infrastructure and signage in the area, the campaign aims to enhance the promotion of shops, restaurants and bars.
“We are all embracing this new initiative and it feels great to be pulling together in the same direction to improve the area and increase sales for everyone,” said Rita.
“It’s been an extremely tough time for all independents in recent years as big high street brands have promoted the concept of all-year-round sales and a ‘pile it high sell it cheap’ culture.
“We now need to fight back and promote our offer."
The Victorian Arcade and George Yard, beside Barnsley Civic Arts Centre, is home to more than 40 independent shops, including cafes, menswear stores, designer boutiques, jewellers, vintage and giftware shops, a bakers and a barbers.
Kevin Steel, Enterprising Barnsley’s business development manager at BBIC, said: “Rita has years of experience as a local businesswoman with regional, national and global reach and it’s great to see her new venture going from strength to strength; and to have her on board with wider efforts to boost independent trade in the town.
“Through this joint public sector and private sector project we are asking the retailers what they want to kick-start improvements and we hope it will lead to long-term closer working and collaboration.”
The campaign is part of a wider plan which aims to understand and offer support needed by independent businesses to improve their trading prospects.