Sparkling new store for historic company
ONE of East Yorkshire's longest-established companies has relocated in Beverley.
Hugh Rice Jewellers has been trading since 1971.
Expanding its operation has meant the company having to move from its old site in North Bar Within and set up in Toll Gavel.
Employing eight people, the new store has a corner site that also fronts on to Walkergate.
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Managing director Mike Rice said: "North Bar is an attractive area of Beverley but businesses can suffer due to a lack of parking and busy traffic.
"We decided that Toll Gavel would suit our needs far more effectively, as well as offering larger premises to develop from scratch to perfectly reflect the Hugh Rice brand.
"I would like to apologise to other traders for any disruptions this redevelopment may have caused but we hope that they also will benefit from the increase in footfall our new store will bring."
Hugh Rice, which also has an expanded shop in St Stephen's Shopping Centre in Hull, sells top brands such as Pandora, Thomas Sabo, Chopard, Omega, Swarovski and Tag Heuer.
The Beverley branch is an integral part of the historic town's shopping area and a steady growth in sales and expanding product range has led to larger premises being required.
Mr Rice said: "Our former Beverley store served customers well, however with more space there is so much more we can do.
"We've been very careful to maintain the original character of this listed building at Toll Gavel by working closely with the Beverley Civic Society, while also succeeding in giving it a slick, modern character."
The building has plenty of heritage, Toll Gavel once formed part of the original High Street.
Its name comes from the Gavel family who collected tolls on the route around the year 1255.
Walkergate was one of the main thoroughfares into town, which people would access when arriving from one of the former gated entries at what was then a defensive walled settlement.
"As a local, family company, we celebrate the area's history," said Mr Rice.
"We're on a historic corner of a bustling thoroughfare that played an essential part of Beverley's development for centuries.
"This, combined with our expanded store in St Stephen's in Hull city centre, means the future is looking very bright indeed.
"We envisage seeing a lot of familiar faces and plenty of new ones too."