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The aim is to bring the issue to the attention of the media and the general public through a public relations initiative.

Climbing property prices and gentrification in established antique hotspots throughout the country are threatening small, independent antique shops. LAPADA’s annual survey of its members found that the number of members operating from a shop has dropped by more than six per cent since 2004 and the figure across the whole of the trade is likely to be much higher.

Cadogan Tate, who provide a concierge service to overseas buyers shopping at Britain’s wealth of specialist shops and galleries, have worked closely with antique shops in London and around Britain for 30 years and have seen the landscape change

LAPADA chief executive Sarah Percy-Davis told ATG: “Raising awareness of the issues encountered by our members and antiques dealers all over Britain is a major priority for LAPADA. Our members face many new challenges, including soaring business rates and dwindling foot traffic in town centres. These shops help form the tapestry of Britain’s communities and it’s vital that they are appreciated and protected.”

Cadogan Tate and LAPADA are now formulating a strategy for the campaign that will begin with a discussion with dealers and shop owners on how to improve consumers’ understanding of issues. Proposals include reviving the road sign project to notify motorists of nearby antiques shops.