Traders’ rallying cry to support Higher Buxton’s independent shops

High Street traders Lynn Barraclough of Shabby Chic Bits, Barbara Cooper of Eat@No.5, Julie, Sarah and Francesca Bilinis from Room 49, Zoe Keeling from Muzik and More and Lee Hadfield from Grove Goodies and Geekery. Photo: Jason Chadwick.
High Street traders Lynn Barraclough of Shabby Chic Bits, Barbara Cooper of Eat@No.5, Julie, Sarah and Francesca Bilinis from Room 49, Zoe Keeling from Muzik and More and Lee Hadfield from Grove Goodies and Geekery. Photo: Jason Chadwick.

While some traders in Higher Buxton say they feel forgotten by shoppers, all are in agreement that the walk up the hill is worth it for the variety of choice available.

They are rallying round and want customers to show their support for the independent traders who stock ‘a treasure trove of goodies’.

Buxton's High Street.

Buxton's High Street.

The selection of shops in Higher Buxton is varied with vintage gifts, clothes, books, and hair and beauty shops all to tempt customers.

Julie Bilinis, from Room 49, says trade can fluctuate depending on the season and the weather.

The family-run business sells ladies clothes and accessories.

She said: “Down in Spring Gardens there are the chain stores which can be found nationwide, but the walk up the hill is worth it.

Traders say there is a real community spirit among the businesses in Higher Buxton.

Traders say there is a real community spirit among the businesses in Higher Buxton.

“We have a treasure trove of goodies for all kinds of shoppers.

“With us we are more like a community. We look out for each other and we offer a more personal touch to shoppers because we aren’t driven by targets and head office.

“One of the challenges we do face is footfall. It has been good having the Premier Inn open up on London Road as more people are walking past now.

“I would love to see more people come in and have a nosey around just to see what we have on offer.”

Looking along High Street from the Market Place in Buxton.

Looking along High Street from the Market Place in Buxton.

The shop only orders a handful of each size which Julie says makes it the place to come for shoppers wanting to show their individuality.

Julie said: “With Christmas fast approaching it would be great if people did support the local independent traders.”

She added: “The town centre with the big name shops is dying as more people are shopping online and down in the shopping centre there are empty units.

“Up here we are taking risk. New shops are opening up and people want to be part of something which is fantastic news for our local economy, and the town.”

One business which has taken such a risk is Gilbert’s on the Market Place.

The gastropub opened in July and four months on is still going strong.

Marlies Gill, from the pub, said: “There was something missing in Higher Buxton and Gilbert’s has acted as a bridge or a gateway for those people who resigned themselves to only eating down in town.

“The relaunch of the market has massively helped the area and I think it is thriving at the minute.

“It is great being part of something and knowing that this part of town is so up-and-coming.

“There is so much potential in the area - Buxton’s market is the heart of the town - and it is so nice to see it is fighting back and going from strength to strength.”

There are some unique shopping experiences to be had in Higher Buxton, such as Scrivener’s Books on the High Street which has been voted one of the Guardian’s ten best second-hand bookshops.

However, some people fear Higher Buxton is still the forgotten part of town.

Jayne Leech, from Devil Heart Tattoo, said: “It’s like we don’t exist.

“People think Spring Gardens is the High Street but it isn’t - up here is.

“I think the Town Team are doing a great job for Buxton, but the Christmas parade next month is not planned to come this far along, which is such a shame because last year we had the best decorations and this year will be no different. It feels like once again we are being forgotten.

“We have a great diversity of shops up here but people are still surprised to discover us, which is a shame.

“I don’t feel like we have enough support from the council either, as everything is focused on Spring Gardens, the Cavendish Arcade or the Pavilion Gardens.”

Town Team fighting for all of town

Buxton Town Team director Tina Heathcote said the parade route was not done to exclude Higher Buxton.

She said: “The parade is on the same day as the Christmas market on the Market Place. We are doing everything we can to get as many people up to the area as possible.

“The parade is not passing through the High Street because this is the first year and we need road closures so everyone is safe. We want to cause the least amount of disruption as possible, and felt that taking its current route would enable us to sing for the residential homes on Broad Walk and Hartington Gardens.

“We will be reviewing everything that has happened in January and we value feedback. Next year when we have a blueprint we can look at adapting and changing the route, but I think it is great the shops up there care so much about the decorations and hope people go and see them.”