Booming Brighouse

New shop in Brighouse, Simply Sweets, on Bethel Street. Pictured are Jill Jackson, Amy Thornton, Tom Jackson and Zoe Aspinall.
New shop in Brighouse, Simply Sweets, on Bethel Street. Pictured are Jill Jackson, Amy Thornton, Tom Jackson and Zoe Aspinall.

AS most towns are struggling to fill empty premises, Brighouse appears to be thriving.

Several new businesses have opened in the town centre over the last few months. From beauticians to clothes shops and even a new car garage have opened their doors.

A report from the British Retail Consortium has found that the number of empty shops on the UK’s high streets has hit the highest level since its survey began in July 2011. The town centre vacancy rate is now 11.3 per cent.

But despite a number of premises being empty in Brighouse new businesses are continuing to appear.

The town has seen Envy, the Secret Wardrobe, Dons, Baggy2shoes, Elegant Tailor and Living all open their doors.

And some other businesses have simply moved to bigger premises because business is going so well. These include Fultons, Brighouse Dry Cleaners, Brighouse Convenience Store and Overgate’s furniture store.

And it is believed that Betfreds will take on the former Overgate Hospice shop, the former Brighouse Convenience Store will create the entrance to Park Road dental practice, and there is a new owner of the former Brighouse Dry Cleaners. Rhinestones and Azxnt, the current premises which are up for let, will be moving to another town centre outlet near to Prego.

It is thought Misdress could be under offer. The Pet store in Bethel Street is thought to be a condemned building which is why it is not occupied.

There is a new gym in town and Runabout Warehouse has opened where Crowtrees Garage used to be.

There is Reckless that has joined with ROKT climbing gym, another fantastic addition to the town.

Following on from the popular Totally Locally markets, some of the stallholders are looking for appropriate premises in Brighouse.

One of the favourite new additions to the town is Simply Sweets which has opened where Brief Encounter used to be before moving to Bradford Road.

Darren Jackson who is running the shop with his wife Jill said: “There are a lot of traders pulling together rather than fighting against each other in Brighouse. There is a positive vibe and the fact that there isn’t this kind of shop in Brighouse is the reason I decided to come here. It is nice to see a lot of different shops.

“The fact that they do the street markets, it is a very proactive town and I think that is what we like about it.”

Darren who lives in Gomersal also has further plans to develop the shop in due course.

Lesley Adams, chair of Brighouse Business Initiative, said: “When you look around at towns not to distant from here we are incredibly lucky. We have put a lot of hard work into it and we are bucking the trend. You don’t have to drive far and there are towns that are dying.

“I think Brighouse is thriving because there is a really good atmosphere. We have got community spirit and a great range of shops. There isn’t much you can’t get in Brighouse.

“You can always park and we have usually got something going on that has attracted people that have not come to Brighouse for a long time and don’t realise what shops we have got here. Some are quite surprised because not everyone wants to go into Huddersfield or Halifax. Whereas Brighouse is a nice compact town centre and everyone is close by.”