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Ilkley bookshop in running to be crowned UK favourite local business

The Grove Bookshop has received many nominations along with Galo’s Kitchen, Mortens, Friends of Ham and Lishman’s of Ilkley.

The Grove Bookshop in Ilkley has been praised for its service, reading inspiration, and traditional feel in a national competition to find the UK’s favourite local business.

By nominating their favourite local business, one person will receive £500 of gift cards. The business receiving the most votes being crowned as the UK’s favourite. The competition is sponsored by Town & City Gift Cards, the initiative that the Ilkley Town Centre Gift Card is part of.

Samantha Newton nominated The Grove Bookshop in the competition, saying: “Awesome service, so helpful, good for inspiration too and don’t you just love the traditional book shop decor inside and out - why does anyone in Ilkley need to buy books from faceless online retailers when the Grove Bookshop can offer the same speedy ordering service. And one of the great things is you can actually call them and talk to a knowledgeable team member. Proud you are in our town.”

Mike Sansbury, manager of The Grove Bookshop

Mike Sansbury, manager of the independent bookshop which has been in Ilkley for over 40 years said: “We’re named after The Grove, which is a historic, quaint area of the town. Our beautiful blue painted corner building with its huge windows full of books is inviting, and that atmosphere extends inside too. I think people enjoy the whole experience of coming into the store to choose their books.

“The Grove Bookshop is privileged to be a big part of the community and a recognisable Ilkley business, much like Bettys and Mortens. So much so that people don’t just pop in to buy books, they also pop in to ask directions or when the next bus is, we’re a bit of a community hub!

“I think the lockdown we went through made people more determined to keep hold of local bookshops, cafés and restaurants. Many businesses closed, and it gave an insight into what our towns could be like without our independent businesses. As a business, we changed how we did things too, such as delivering books to customers. Thankfully, the willingness to support local is still very much alive.

“One thing that customers often say to us is that they always find what they were looking for and what they weren’t expecting too. We aim to provide the narrow range that customers want with the wider range, and I think that comes down to the team at The Grove Bookshop and the priority we place on customer service.

“There is so much experience across our team, from teachers to booksellers with 25 years of experience. Neil is our expert on military history, Emily is our teacher with the knowledge of children’s books, alongside Korina. Amy and I are generalists but everyone contributes their knowledge and that shows in the range of books we have at The Grove Bookshop. Plus, being independent, we have the freedom to stock what we want, rather than what we have to.

“Being nominated in the competition is lovely and the icing on the cake for us; it is so nice to be appreciated and we are grateful to those that took the time to nominate us.”

Other Ilkley businesses nominated in the competition include Galo’s Kitchen, Mortens, Friends of Ham and Lishman’s of Ilkley.

Helen Rhodes, BID Manager at Ilkley BID, said: “We’re extremely proud to see nominations for so many businesses in Ilkley. The Grove Bookshop is an Ilkley institution and a real hub of our community, sponsoring lots of important local events, and making local shopping hugely enjoyable. Please keep on voting for your favourite Ilkley business.”

The Grove Bookshop is one of 80 Ilkley businesses part of the Ilkley Town Centre Gift Card, launched in May 2022 by Ilkley Business Improvement District (BID) as part of a mission to encourage local shopping. It is part of the Town & City Gift Card initiative active across the UK and Ireland.

Vote for your favourite local business for free at Voting closes on the 21st December 2022.


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