Are you sitting comfortably? You soon will be, thanks to the brilliant independent businesses in Imperial Arcade.

Over the last six months the Huddersfield town centre arcade has gone through quite a transformation, led by Ant Gotts from Handmade in Huddersfield supported by other independent traders.

Imperial Arcade now hosts monthly craft markets on the second Saturday of each month, including tomorrow (Saturday April 13).

The arcade flowerbed has now been put back to its original intended use after years of being used as a dumping ground.

Several businesses and members of the public have donated plants, cuttings, bulbs and seeds which are now growing well.

Ant has tended the garden daily since moving to the larger shop facing the flowerbed. The ‘Growing Minds’ friendship gardening group will relaunch on Mondays in the coming weeks. Ant will pass on his skills in horticulture to anybody who would like to learn.

Businesses within Imperial Arcade have now clubbed together to pay for cushions which will be pegged out onto the garden wall top on dry days to create an inviting place to sit and enjoy the garden.

Yorkshire Rose Coach Holidays, Pro Bodies, Bakehouse, Moda Imperiale, Clothing Direct and Handmade in Huddersfield – all independent businesses in the arcade – have joined forces with Marsh Garage to buy 15 three-seater cushions.


Ant said: “We recognise that a lot of our customers find Huddersfield town centre quite a challenge due to the gradient.

“We now have a pretty garden, so we thought it would be a nice thing to do to provide seating for people to rest their legs whilst enjoying the sights and scents of the flowers.”

Ant added: “I think it’s important to recognise that the changes in the arcade have all been led by small locally-owned businesses.

“We’ve received no funding from either our landlords or the council – the businesses and customers have made this happen. The more people support and shop in the wonderful businesses in the arcade the more we can give back to our community.”

Jess Cullen, who owns fashion shop Moda Imperiale, said: “It’s great to see community spirit and local pride in full bloom.

“The heart-warming efforts from local people has been incredible and it is really showing now. We are seeing increased footfall through the arcade compared to when we first opened our shop.”

Oti, who has worked at The Bakehouse for many years, added: “We have lots of lovely compliments from customers about the arcade garden and the craft market Saturdays are normally our busiest Saturday of the month.”


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