Campaign launched to help Smith Street in Warwick thrive

Warwick, Smith Street'MHLC-31-01-15 General shots NNL-150202-114811009
Warwick, Smith Street'MHLC-31-01-15 General shots NNL-150202-114811009

A Warwick café with the help of neighbouring traders has launched a campaign to increase awareness of the diverse range of independent businesses operating on Smith Street.

The campaign known as #SeeYouOnSmithStreet is happening on both Instagram and Twitter throughout May and shares the stories of the many businesses that call this street home.

Smith Street, which can be found to the east of Warwick town centre through Eastgate, has been a home to a variety of businesses for hundreds of years.

As the name suggests Smith Street started life as the hub of Warwick’s many smithies (white, gold, black and silver smiths) producing armour and ironmongery for the soldiers at nearby Warwick Castle.

Smith Street, unlike Warwick’s High Street, escaped the Great Fire of Warwick in 1694 and some of the buildings from before this time still exist.

#SeeYouOnSmithStreet is the brainchild of Smith Street business owners, Stephen Burnett of the café and artisan bakery, Bread&co, and Lara Smith of design studio, Smithery.

Stephen said, “Smith Street has a fantastic array of independent businesses and a real community spirit and we wanted to share that with the people of Warwick and the surrounding area.”

Lara said: “The issue with Smith Street is that it is a bit of a thoroughfare. When people come they find it amazing but unless you get out of your car you don’t notice it.

“Even the town itself forgets about us. So we are looking at doing our own thing and become a destination in our own right which I think we are.

“We are urging people to support the independents and support the street. People don’t realise that if they don’t support the local businesses they can’t hang around.

“We put so much effort in but if they we don’t get the business through the doors we can’t survive.

“If people want Smith Street to get better and to thrive they need to support us.”

The current businesses on Smith Street range in longevity from 52 years to one week.

The longest-running businesses on Smith Street include Piccolino’s Restaurant at 36 years, Warwick Vac at 33 years and Duncan M and V Allsop Antiquarian Bookseller at 52 years.

The newest additions include Green and Wild, Peeli and Happy Puccia.

The street is also home to a number of historic buildings. The Roebuck Inn at the eastern end of Smith Street, dates back to 1470 and is said to be Warwick’s oldest public house. Robbie’s Restaurant is also an early 15th century Grade II-listed building.

It is hoped that by creating a Smith Street hashtag that residents can keep up-to-date about events and news happening in the street and also encourage more people to visit the independent shops.

To keep up-to-date with the news and events in Smith Street search for #SeeYouOnSmithStreet on Instagram and Twitter.

On July 28 the annual Smith Street Party will also be returning.