For the record: New body will give a voice to city’s independent retailers

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EFFORTS are being made to tackle the ‘unrealised potential’ of the independent retail sector in Leeds, which has been described as ‘geographically scattered’ and with ‘no central profile’.

Independent Leeds is a brand and website which has been created to promote and support independent businesses around the city. It is managed in collaboration with the Leeds Retail Association (LRA), Hebe Media and SLB Public Relations, involving students from Leeds College of Art.

David Laycock, chair of the LRA, and also centre director for the new Trinity Leeds development, said: “Leeds has a fabulous diverse retail offer. However, the complete, rich variety of independents has been unclear. Independent Leeds will ensure this gem is held aloft and celebrated.

“Comprehensive, heightened promotion of independent businesses is a key ingredient in moving Leeds towards being the best city and number one for independents in the UK.”

Founder of Jumbo Records, Hunter Smith, pictured, who co-runs the store in Leeds, said the city “lacks an area where a lot of independent stores are all together”.

Anything to promote independent stores is a good thing, he said. IndependentLeeds.com will be launched in March, featuring approximately 50 independent businesses.

Picture: Bruce Rollinson