Emerging from successive lockdowns, retail and some hospitality businesses in Whitley Bay are beginning to welcome customers back. Whitley Bay is increasingly celebrated as a home to independent businesses and there has been a surge in support for these businesses as they begin to re-open their doors.
Campaigns such as Buy Local North Tyneside have helped to highlight the importance of supporting local businesses, which are part of the very fabric of Whitley Bay. Some ongoing initiatives from the community of independent businesses in Whitley Bay include:
For The Love Of The North, which re-opened in the Spanish City, pivoted for purpose during lockdown, with owners Lucy and Paul passionate supporters of the local community. They raised over £10,000 for local Northumbria NHS Trust's Bright Charity during lockdown, have recently been accredited as a Living Wage Employer and have just launched an exclusive ‘Summer is Coming’ North East inspired fundraising print in collaboration with local artist Lisa Kirkbride, donating 25% to Children North East.
Elder and Wolf on Whitley Road, which will soon open an outdoor terraced and covered pergola offering an indulgent mix of cocktails, kebabs, beers, tacos and pizzas quickly adapted to offer contactless collections and deliveries as well as fully re-furbishing their restaurant during lockdown.
Madi Bakes on Park View has continued to connect loved ones with her creative bakes throughout lockdown and nearby Kith and Kin adapted their businesses to offer wholesome takeaways and will have a limited number of tables outside in their garden area.
The re-opening of businesses in Whitley Bay has captured the hearts of many who are keen to show their support. For The Love of The North, owners Lucy and Paul Hull commented "We have been completely bowled over by the incredible support from everyone that has come into the shop and have sent their good luck wishes to us online since we re-opened. Opening our doors again felt like we were back to where we belong, chatting to our amazing customers, many of whom told us how committed they are to shopping locally and supporting small independent businesses. We're so grateful for everyone's support and look forward to continuing to welcome our customers back to For the Love of The North."
The “Support Local” movement has also been a catalyst for many new independent businesses choosing to locate here, with demand for commercial space at an all-time high. North East real estate expert and Partner at RA Jackson & Son, Richard Fenwick, comments "across our portfolio of commercial properties, both for sale and rent, the demand for independent businesses choosing to locate in Whitley Bay is increasing year on year. Local entrepreneurs recognise the importance of investing in the local community, making a positive contribution that sustains the local area as well as their individual businesses. We work with several independent businesses in Whitley Bay including Café 129 on Park View, Bay Beauty, Cottage Kitchen and in the coming few months we will welcome many more small businesses including Destinations by John, an independent travel agent opening in mid April on Whitley Road."
Additional independent businesses opening in Whitley Bay over the coming months include:
Forum Books - A much loved, independent bookshop based in Corbridge, are due to open their Whitley Bay store in the former North Tyneside Disability Forum on Park View
Hazy Daze Bottle Shop - Whitley Bay's newest craft beer shop will offer local, national and international beers, as well as natural wines and local spirits, is opening soon in the Spanish City
Laurels: The Ultimate Entertainment Venue - Opening soon on Whitley Road, offering two bars, a lounge, Mexican and Geordie tapas, craft beer, cocktails and a performance space to see the very best theatre, comedy and music the North East has to offer, all under one roof
As the lockdown restrictions ease in line with the Government’s roadmap, the small business community of Whitley Bay is poised to welcome back their loyal customers, who are playing an integral role in the continued achievements of this vibrant coastal town.