Brighouse: the town ‘blowing national statistics out of the water’

Brighouse is seeing a surge in new retail outlets and vendors in its town centre despite the challenges of lockdown, according to its Business Improvement District (BID).

Karen James, owner of K Boutique in Brighouse, says she has received plenty of support in the town since she opened the shop at the end of 2020.

Although some retailers have not been able to withstand the impact of the pandemic, including national groups such as EWM and Top Shop owner Arcadia, Brighouse is proving to be more resilient.

Existing businesses have adapted and thrived, and 16 new businesses have opened in the town in the past 12 months.

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Lesley Adams, co-chair of the Brighouse BID steering group, said: “We’re thrilled with the rate in which new vendors are opening in the town centre. Our small town does blow all national statistics out of the water, bucking the trends.

“The high street may be declining nationally, but we are prospering. We put it down to the quality and variety of our businesses. Our independent businesses, and the big retailers, are all thriving in Brighouse, being used by thousands of people each week.”

The latest addition to the townscape will be TRUTH, a new bar due to open on May 17.

Owner Ruth Stevens said: “Brighouse really holds its own on the Calderdale map. People come far and wide to visit our town and there has always been a sense of pride and strength from those who live here.”

She added: “We aim to simply nourish what already exists in the town. The people bring the atmosphere and we endeavour to enrich their experience, giving them a place to call ‘fun’.”

Fashion retail stores are due to reopen on April 12, a date awaited eagerly by Karen James. She opened K Boutique, an independent shop specialising in fashion for men and women, at the end of 2020 and is looking forward to opened her doors again on Monday.

“The support I’ve received from Brighouse has been wonderful and I can’t wait for our re-opening and a chance to meet more customers and business owners in the town.

“Until we opened at the back end of 2020, there was no independent menswear retailer in town, so this brings another reason for shoppers to come into the town.”

Brighouse has seen new businesses launched across all sectors, including Hair & Beauty Corner; No Entry Fire & Security Ltd; MADE, a luxury salon academy offering a variety of training courses; and furniture shop Designer Rooms.