BUSINESS | Indie Ilkley

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beyond reports on the arrival of Indie Ilkley – a collective of independently run local businesses located in the popular Yorkshire spa town.

In a day and age when high street chains and online shopping are dominating the retail landscape, one Yorkshire town is doing its bit to promote its wealth of independent shops.

Indie Ilkley is the brainchild of Emma Beckwith, manager of women’s boutique fashion store Morgan Clare, located in the heart of the town.

Disgruntled with the number of multi-nationals slowly eroding the presence of so many much-loved local shops in Ilkley, Emma has launched a platform to promote the wealth of brilliant independent businesses which help attract thousands of visitors to the famous spa town each year.

Along with 25 other independent retailers, Emma has produced a compact guide to help visitors identify and locate the best local businesses in Ilkley as well as an Instagram page to provide up-to-the-minute feeds, images and information.

Having worked in Ilkley all her life, including 10 years running her own shop, Emma is well-positioned to see the negative impact the arrival of so many multi-nationals has had on Ilkley.

But given the town’s strong community spirit, she now believes the time is right for the smaller indie stores to stand up in a bid to preserve the number of local restaurants, fashion houses, gift shops and lifestyle boutiques in Ilkley.

Talking about the launch of Indie Ilkley, Emma said: “Ilkley is a beautiful town that attracts thousands of visitors each year, many who come to experience the wealth of independently run shops, cafes and restaurants that make it such an appealing place.

“Without them, Ilkley would lose its identity and so we have all come together to let people know about us, find and visit us, and experience what makes shopping in Ilkley so enjoyable.

“These are the businesses that are the fabric of Ilkley and what makes it such a unique place to visit. At a time when people are very conscious of how they spend their money, Indie Ilkley is designed to help you know you’re supporting independent businesses.

“Far too many brilliant and innovative local businesses have been forced out of Ilkley by the big chains in recent years and the same thing is happening up and down the country.

“Hopefully this conglomeration of talented independent retailers will help highlight what the town has to offer and allow such hardworking businesses to thrive for many years to come.”

Included in the Indie Ilkley guide is a pocket-size map highlighting exactly where each independent business can be found and there will be regular Instagram updates on @indieilkley.

To find out more about Indie Ilkley you can pick up a free guide from any of the participating businesses, get in touch at, follow them on Instagram @indieilkley or visit their website

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