Guide promotes city’s top shops

Unique Wakefield
Unique Wakefield
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A GROUP of retailers have created a ‘pocket guide’ to show what the city centre has to offer shoppers.

Unique Wakefield’s guide features 19 independent retailers, and they are looking to create a second edition with at least 30 traders.

Group member Sarah White, who owns the Jam gift shop on Northgate, said the group could help small businesses get off the ground by working with Wakefield Council and other organisations.

She said: “We need to keep in touch with the fast pace of change in the city. People often say they are surprised that there are so many small businesses here, so it would be nice to develop the guide, and our website, so that people know what Wakefield has to offer.”

The launch of the guide, available from the Bull Ring’s tourist information centre, coincides with a two-year plan by Wakefield’s City Centre Partnership to improve the city’s shopping experience.

The plan includes introducing a regular programme of events in the city centre, improving signs and giving pedestrians priority over vehicles at road crossings.

Much of the work is scheduled to take place in the spring.

But the partnership has already made progress since it formed last year.

Chairwoman Barbara Winston said they had secured funding, including a government town centre grant, to help out small businesses.

She said: “It’s about putting the city first, showing commitment and broadening the offering for shoppers. We’re trying to work together as a city.”

Coun Denise Jeffery, the council’s deputy leader, said: “The credit crunch has affected businesses nationwide. We are working with the partnership and retailers to make sure Wakefield is a vibrant shopping centre for visitors.”