On Saturday 3rd July wine will be flowing freely for a few hours as Huddersfield’s leading wine merchants Hoults and Kwas celebrate Arch Day 2021. The two businesses under the arches on Viaduct street will be offering free wine tastings and tasty local nibbles from 12-4pm as their way of saying thank you to customers old and new for their support through the Covid pandemic.
Customers visiting between 2 and 3pm will be entertained by some special visitors, street entertainers ‘The Mirror Men’.
For one day only, Viaduct Street will become Vine-a-Duct Street in a celebration of all things grape, culminating in a late-night opening from 4pm to 10pm.
The railway arches on Viaduct Street have been home to an eclectic mix of independent businesses since 1987 and in more recent years have become a go-to part of town for fine dining and drinking.
Hoults wine merchants have enjoyed many years trading successfully under the railway arches, but this past year has been a year like no other.
Rob Hoult said, “In the 38 years Hoults have been selling wine in Huddersfield we’ve earned the loyalty and undying love of a great bunch of customers. In this last year and a half our customers have stood us in good stead, through all the rigours of lockdowns, closures and re-openings. By hook or by crook we’ve kept the wine moving and by golly, our customers have told us how much they’ve cherished a good glass of wine. This period has highlighted as never before how important we are to each other, and we’re delighted to be able to say thank you in this way.”
Duncan Sime and Ola Dabrowska opened their wine bar Kwas under the railway arches in October 2018. During the pandemic Kwas adapted to become a fully-fledged grocery store, selling boxes of organic fruit and vegetables and a range of tasty whole foods. Duncan and Ola say the shared experience of the struggles of the past 18 months has helped them get to know their customers better and build a strong community around Kwas. They love trading under the arches and want to see more businesses moving in soon.
Duncan said: “We want to show people that the arches are a great place to find quality independent businesses; businesses that are passionate about what we do and where we do it. Local businesses like ours really do care about our customers and our customers care about us and want us to grow and succeed. This May, they showed us that by pledging over £18000 through Crowdfunder to help Kwas with the costs of our move into a bigger archway space next door. “
“It’s independent businesses like Hoults and Kwas that will drive the economic recovery in our town centre. So as well as showcasing our own businesses we hope that Arch Day 2021 will encourage some other independent businesses to take a look at the arches and maybe come and be our neighbours. Everybody needs good neighbours!”
Huddersfield BID, the local organisation charged with promoting and improving Huddersfield town centre has identified the railway arches on Viaduct Street as a key area to support over the next few years.
Sophie Patel, Huddersfield BID’s Marketing & Projects Executive comments, “Following the pandemic and the effect it has had on businesses, it’s important not to forget unique, independent businesses like these hidden gems in the arches. The railway arches in Huddersfield offer a special and unique experience, enhancing Huddersfield’s culture and nightlife. Certainly, an experience I have personally enjoyed! Businesses such as those in the arches have Huddersfield BID’s support and confidence in the locals to visit and truly are a special additionality to Huddersfield’s heritage”.
Arch Day is a national celebration of the many independent businesses and charities that operate underneath railway arches in England and Wales, created by The Arch Company. On Saturday 3rd July events will be held by businesses as part of the #loveyourlocalarches campaign to encourage the public to support tenants of businesses under railway arches, with an impressive series of community-based events celebrating local arches.
Adam Dakin, Managing Director at The Arch Company, states: “We are proud to champion small businesses like Kwas and Hoults. The diverse mix of independent businesses who call the railway arches home play such an important role in communities across the country. The Arch Company is here to support these local arches and seeing directly how our £10 million Hardship Fund has helped these businesses in Huddersfield survive the pandemic is really rewarding. Kwas and Hoults – and their creative partnership to mark Arch Day – offer a fantastic example of the brilliant businesses found within the unique spaces of the arches.”