INDEPENDENT businesses in Wharfedale have come together to create the ultimate Christmas shopping guide.

The ‘Ilkley Indies’ hope the initiative will encourage shoppers to support local businesses this Christmas.

Victoria Green, from Spark Creative Thinking, had the idea to put together the guide when news of the second lockdown hit during early November.

“It was heart breaking to know that many independent businesses who had stocked up for Christmas were going to miss out on a month at what should be their busiest time of year,” she said.

“It got me thinking about how easy it is to be influenced into shopping with the online giants with their big marketing budgets at times like this, but that we often don’t know about all the small businesses offering amazing gift options, right on our doorstep.”

“I got in touch with a few local people, started to spread the word and the gift guide was born.

“It showcases many local companies, both online and bricks and mortar, and includes lots of Christmas inspiration.

“It also features a festive directory which explains a little about each business and how to get in touch.”

There are over 50 local businesses involved in the guide which can be found in a digital ebook format online at

Shoppers can also follow @ilkleyindies on both Facebook and Instagram for more Christmas shopping ideas over the next few weeks, including many special offers and discounts.

The Ilkley Indies initiative has won the support of Ghyll Royd School in Burley-in-Wharfedale. The school is running a giveaway until Friday, December 11 in a bid to drum up more support for the guide and encourage people to shop local Christmas.

Ghyll Royd’s Headteacher David Martin said: “What makes Ilkley so great is the community spirit.

“The children are so kind and wanted to know how they can help support local businesses.

“When we saw the Ilkley Indies guide, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to help support local businesses and have purchased items from several shops featured in the guide that we would like to giveaway. There is something for the whole family in the hamper featuring businesses including Waste Not, Fuggle and Golding and the Wharfedale Candle Company.”

To enter the giveaway, visit the school’s Facebook page and like and share this post: