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Craftswomen bring Tiverton shop back to life
9:00am Monday 23rd September 2013 in Devon
A NEW shop run by local craftspeople will open in Tiverton this weekend.
Seven women who will be sharing the space at the former Julian Graves store in Fore Street will be selling their wares from tomorrow (Saturday).
Earlier this week, they got together to spruce up the premises, which have been closed for 14 months.
The re-opening has been welcomed by the Tiverton Town Team, which was created after the town’s successful bid to become a Portas Pilot Town.
Tiverton Town Teamchair Cllr Sue Griggs hopes the temporary arrangement will boost the confidence of some of would-be retailers so they go on to open their own independent businesses.
She told the Star: “These are people who would like to have their own shop but for whatever reason, either because they can’t afford it, or they don’t have the experience or enough stock, they can’t.
“It’s a pilot, but that’s what the Portas Scheme is all about, offering people a chance to do something they’d otherwise not be able to do.
“The store holders willbe learning how to run a business. It’s a fantastic opportunity, and they’re all really excited and looking forward to trying this.
“We’ve lost three main anchor shops from Fore Street and they’re hard to replace because they’re such large spaces.
“The rents are really high and just out of reach for independents, but if their businesses take off it might be the stepping stone to running a shop of their own. That’s the hope.
“We want our projects to be sustainable and longlasting, not just a flash in the pan.”
As well as selling handmade items, including accessories for the home, there will be a chance for people to watch local artists, and craftsmen and women, at work in the shop window every Saturday.
Cllr Griggs said: “I’m hoping it will be something different for the high street – something exciting, new and innovative which will catch people’s eye.
“We want to encourage as many people as we can to get involved.”
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