Traders want to raise the Bar for shoppers
A RADICAL plan to create a "Georgian Quarter" in Beverley is aimed at rejuvenating the town's most historic shopping area.
Traders are looking to the past in an effort to boost their future.
The recently formed North Bar Traders' Association wants to create the East Riding's premier fashion destination alongside some of its oldest architecture.
Plans are being discussed for signs, targeted events, specialist marketing and a dedicated website.
Trader David Bird, of Carol Bird Interiors, has been a driving force behind the plan.
He said: "We want to turn the North Bar shopping area into the premier fashion and lifestyle destination in East Yorkshire.
"One of the most historically important streets in the region will once again become synonymous with design style and chic. Shoppers and visitors will start to notice the improvements and plans we have over the coming months."
The Georgian Quarter plan grew from momentum developed when retailers and restaurateurs in the area formulated a bid for £100,000 of Government money under the Mary Portas Pilots initiative.
The application was, eventually, rejected but the spirit of co-operation sparked the latest scheme.
Mr Bird said: "Our interest really started with the offer of Government money under the Mary Portas Pilots initiative.
"The North Bar end of town has suffered in recent years from lack of footfall and this has affected traders very badly.
"We got together as a group and applied for money through this initiative but unfortunately, for various reasons, we did not qualify."
It meant the group had to look at self-funding, not easy in difficult economic times, especially for those operating shops and food outlets. They raised some money and, in a meeting with MP Graham Stuart, a second source of funding was discussed.
Mr Bird said: "The Our Town First: Town Teams Partners initiative is part of a Government package aimed at helping local towns regenerate and revitalise their shopping areas and high streets.
"The funding, up to £10,000, is available for projects that will help local organisations like ours create innovative and effective schemes aimed at improving their retail offer. It is necessary to get your MP fully on board as the application is made through them. Mr Stuart was very supportive when he learnt about our plans and our application for funding was one of the first to be submitted."
The group has now discovered its application for £10,000 of funding has been approved.
It means the Georgian Quarter plans can be pulled together.
Beverley Town Council has given its approval for specially designed banners to be put up along the roadside. Other elements of the branding are set to follow.
Mr Bird said: "The fact we have gained this money shows that our plans are highly regarded by central Government as well."