TIMES are hard in the current financial climate, any retailer will admit.
But one Huddersfield village seems to be bucking the trend – so much so, they have been held up as a national example.
The bustling suburb of Lindley is thriving, according to retailers there.
The news comes as 11% of Huddersfield town centre shops lay empty, while high street stores nationally report dismal Christmas sales.
“It is very individual,” said florist Helen Brook, owner of The Flower Shop on Lidget Street.
“Everyone is offering individual products. We cannot compete with the supermarkets so we have to offer our customers something different.
“Lindley has become a destination really. It’s a place where people can come and spend a few hours and have lunch or a drink.
“We all look out for each other and we are all heading in the same direction.”
The vibrant village – which was featured on ITV1’s Daybreak programme earlier this week – has around 30 businesses offering everything from food and drink to wedding cakes, fashion, health, beauty and gifts.
Yet, despite the economic downturn, businesses there still appear to be booming.
Eric’s restaurant opened its doors in November 2010. Just a year later, owner Eric Paxman has expanded his business into an empty shop next door to create a new bar area.
The prize-winning chef has invested more than £160,000.
But he admits it was money well spent, because of the thriving location.
He said: “It has been worth every penny. I couldn’t have wished for a better place.
“The foot fall is fantastic for lunch and there are so many people around the area, they can just walk to the restaurant without having to get cabs.
“It has all gone extremely well.”
The close-knit community has even launched its own group – Love Lindley – made up of local business-owners and residents.
The group organises an annual late-night Christmas shopping event for charity, which has raised enough cash to fund its own guide dog.
Love Lindley secretary Lucia Haycock – of Sugarcraft Creations – said: “It has helped unite the village.
“A lot of residents shop here because the village has everything you could need.
“The town centre is dying. The rates are so high that people cannot afford to keep their businesses open.”