WWW.ANTIQUES.CO.UK, the UK’s top ranked Antiques site, is calling for Antiques, Fine Arts dealers and the general public, to speak out about the £2 billion loss suffered by the trade in 2008 and the government’s lack of support during this recession. Iain Brunt, the site’s creator, is asking for dealers to make a stand and sign a petition urging the government to equip this often overlooked industry with the tools to restore it to its former glory.
Recent recessions have seen the antiques trade slump but it has previously managed to rebuild itself due to trends, such as the 1993 birth of Antiques Fairs throughout the UK. However last year many Antique and Fine Art dealers were forced to close their premises as a direct result of high rent and business rate increases, at a faster rate than in previous recessions. With many Antiques shops being small businesses - still fighting for survival despite the Chancellor’s rethink on the previously tabled increase in business rates - the time has come for a change in perception and for people to realise that the UK’s Antiques and Art Industry continues to provide a large amount to the UK’s economy.
In 2007 the UK’s antiques and art industry generated revenue of £4 billion. Global revenue from the art and antiques market was £40 billion in 2007, the UK’s contribution therefore represented 10 per cent of the global market share. In 2008, however, there was a significant fall to £2.75 billion. While other sectors are receiving help from the Government, the Antiques industry — which is partly reliant on the housing market — does not.
Iain Brunt states: “The Antiques industry creates jobs in tourism, shipping, transport and conservation. At a local level, antique shops provide an important draw to country towns, helping other local shops and businesses. Every closure leaves a gap in provincial streetscapes. On an ecological level, the Antiques industry encourages the re-use of old and beautiful things, reducing landfill and new-goods consumption. It’s time that people realised that Antiques are the new green.”
“With sterling at its lowest for some considerable time, UK products are once again attractive to overseas buyers. With some marketing support from the Government, we could be using this opportunity to reach the world market for antiques and help sustain our economy.”
Members of WWW.ANTIQUES.CO.UK and the dealers, most affected by the lack of support, have been signing the ANTIQUES.CO.UK petition to ask the government to develop a strategy before the trade dies out. So far over 800 signatures have been collected but Iain Brunt is calling for more.
“Collective voices will go a long way to helping the industry as a whole and help keep the Antiques and Fine Art trade healthy and stable. Our aim is to get at least 2,000 signatures and once we have reached this level of support we shall be delivering this petition to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon Alistair Darling MP to gain his response.”
With backing from publications such as BBC Homes & Antiques, Antiques Trade Gazette, Antiques News, LAPADA – The Association of Art & Antiques Dealers and Country Life Magazine the petition is gaining ground. This autumn, as part of National Antiques Week (23 – 30 November 2009)WWW.ANTIQUES.CO.UK will be encouraging supporters to support the ‘Antiques are Green’ pledge and make sure that the oldest recycling trade in the UK will still be around in years to come
Sign the online petition today by visiting WWW.ANTIQUES.CO.UK and make sure that you are playing your part in the conservation of the UK’s Antiques industry.
Iain Brunt is available for interview to talk about the petition and the forthcoming National Antiques Week. For more information please contact Toni Jones on 01604 779026 / 07809 759187 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Editors Notes: WWW.ANTIQUES.CO.UK is the brainchild of Antiques and Art dealer Iain Brunt. Matching buyers with dealers from both the UK and internationally, the site has over 7000 items changing daily, covering a wide-range of periods and styles. It is the number 1 ranking site for Antiques related searches on the internet today. With advanced searching techniques available to them, buyers trust that they'll receive quality results for their searches. Not only is the site responsible for creating a place where antiques lovers, interior designers and dealers can collectively trade, it also plays a highly active part within the Antiques industry, using the wide range of media contacts and the high profile it has obtained to support the trade.