A campaign is being launched to promote one of Elgin town centre’s most historic thoroughfares as a cradle for independent businesses.
In the last year, eight new firms have moved into empty units on Batchen Street.
This month women’s clothing and pram shops will open for business on the busy road as well as a new coffee shop.
Now 14 neighbouring have banded together to label it as the town centre’s home for independent shopping.
Sarah Holmes opened stationery store Pencil Me In in June last year – and the businesswoman has poured her artistic flair into the campaign by creating a stylised drawing promoting the types of firms on the street.
She said: “We’ve been discussing a way of promoting Batchen Street for quite a while. It’s really attractive now there are people opening up with the traditional frontages.
“With so many people opening at the moment we thought now was the best time to create a bit of a buzz.
“We try and make the street as welcoming as possible by helping each other out. It’s really awesome to see a community of independent business owners now.
“People tell us they haven’t seen it like this since the late 1990s. It’s really exciting for us as business owners to bring people back to the town centre – not just to Batchen Street but hopefully the High Street and South Street too.”
The campaign will be launched at Elgin’s food festival later this month with maps being designed to showcase what is on offer.
Start-up businesses in Moray have already been recognised for bucking national trends by surviving longer than their counterparts in the rest of Scotland.
Figures show 84% of new firms in the region last more than three years – the national average is 68%.
Gill Neill, manager of Elgin’s business improvement district, is hopeful the benefits of Batchen Street will spill out into the rest of the town centre.
She said: “We’re already delighted to support the businesses on the street. It’s wonderful to see it looking so vibrant and the businesses working together for their mutual benefit.
“We’ll continue to give ‘Buzz on Batchen’ any help we can and wish them all the best of luck.”