Idea for Antiques Quarter

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A BID to create an antiques shopping quarter in an area described as one of Sheffield’s ‘hidden gems’ is set to take a step closer to reality.

Traders around Broadfield Road, Heeley, hope a first meeting with council officers and community groups next Monday will help ‘push the idea forward’.

They believe rebranding the area as the city’s official antiques quarter, similar to the existing Devonshire Quarter, could boost trade and encourage more such businesses to set up.

Artist Hendrika Stephens, owner of The Corner Gallery based in the old Heeley bank, said: “We’re hoping the council will be able to help us decide how we move forward in getting brown signs and marketing. It is very early days. I’m hopeful the meeting will help push this idea forward.”

There are already several antiques, vintage and retro shops, some of which also house independent units, in the area. But more visitors could be attracted from further afield if the quarter goes ahead, traders say.

Welcome To Yorkshire, which works to boost visitor numbers, has also backed the idea for Broadfield Road, Abbeydale Road to Wolseley Road, a small part of London Road and the end of Queen’s Road.

Mum-of-four Hendrika said: “The area has been known unofficially as ‘the antiques quarter’ for a long time.

“I think the only reason this hasn’t happened before is that people didn’t get their heads together.

“In the tough economy at the moment it seems to be a good time to push Sheffield itself, what Sheffield has to offer, secondhand and recycled things.

“We are looking at it from a community as well as a business-related proposal, that it could bring improvements to the area.”

The meeting takes place in The Broadfield pub, on Abbeydale Road, from 10.30am on Monday.

Simon Ogden, Sheffield Council’s head of city regeneration, said the Heeley area was ‘one of Sheffield’s hidden gems’.

He added: “We welcome the traders’ initiative and the chance to discuss this proposal.

“Although we are not in a position to say more, we are hopeful these talks will lead to positive working with traders and the community.”