Whirligig Toys earns Parliamentary praise at Indie Retail Best Small Shops Awards

Members of Parliament have congratulated the efforts of the Brighton-based toy retailer, Whirligig for being named one of the UK’s top 25 best independent shops.

Whirligig Toys has been adding to its awards cabinet this month, having now been named among the top 25 UK businesses at the Indie Retail Best Small Shops Awards 2018.

The awards took place at the House of Commons on November 13th with the aim to promote specialist, independent retailers in the UK and educate and raise awareness about the benefits of shopping with these kinds of retailers.

Representing Brighton Independent businesses along with Whirligig was Kellie Miller Arts, also based in the Lanes.

Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, said: "It’s brilliant to see two of Brighton’s independent businesses shortlisted for the Best Small Shop Award. Our city is famous for our vibrant and creative small firms, and they make a huge contribution to our community. 

"The Government should be supporting people like Kellie and Peter by ensuring internet giants like Amazon don’t have unfair tax advantages over small bricks and mortar shops. I’d encourage everyone to visit the likes of Whirligig and Kellie Miller Arts Gallery in the run-up to Christmas."

Peter Allinson, owner of Whirligig Toys – the indie chain now with four stores to its name across the south of England, said: “Being shortlisted for the Best Small Shops competition is such an honour.

"We were delighted to be recognised as a retailer who is making a difference on the high street and giving our customers an excellent experience. The small shops in Brighton, and across the country, contain so much innovation. They are run by passionate people who really know what they are talking about and who provide a stimulating environment where people love to shop. 

"Whirligig is all about giving children memorable experiences through toys and play. We love what we do and our customers really respond to this. It’s great to have support from our local MP and many others from across parliament. We think this has been a great initiative and we were proud to be involved.”

Ruth George MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Small Shops, told those attending that she was delighted to "celebrate the creativity you bring to your businesses and the contribution you make to your communities. Strong independent retailers bring people into town centres."

25 independent shops from across the length and breadth of the country were shortlisted to attend the award ceremony at the House of Commons. 

Whirligig received a special Commendation as first prize went to The Mainstreet Trading Company of St Boswell’s in the Scottish Borders. 

It’s just the latest for Whirligig who earlier this month was handed the Let toys Be toys Toymark 2018 award for its efforts in challenging gender stereotypes in childhood.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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