Friday, April 17, 2015

News: Makers Emporium celebrates successful first year

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As it celebrates its first birthday, No.26 The Makers Emporium on the High Street is proving to be a successful way of bringing unique items to Rotherham town centre.

Transforming the former Snafu rock bar, the Makers Emporium offers low-cost shared and professionally-managed retail space to a mixture of makers, crafters, artists and designers. Funded by the High Street Renewal Award and delivered in partnership between the Council, The Source Skills Academy and Rotherham Youth Enterprise, it aims to support new start-businesses looking to trade for the first time, raise awareness of their products and letting them see for themselves what takes to run their own business.

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Rotherham is a Portas Pilot, having secured £100,000 in Government funding to use innovative local ideas to revitalise the town centre. The borough also secured extra funding from British Land and The High Street Renewal Fund.

As well as the 3,000 sq ft quality retail space on Rotherham's High Street, the funding was also used to create two pop-up shops - Miele Delicatessen and La Bella Lingerie.

More than 47 different makers have populated the space in the year since it was opened by retail expert and TV presenter Mary Portas and the then Minister for High Streets, Brandon Lewis MP. The array of unique products on offer include jewellery, home-ware, clothing, accessories, gifts, textiles, and artwork.

Matt Webster, store manager at The Makers Emporium, said: "The first year of The Makers Emporium has been a real success. We're encouraging more people to shop locally and independently which can only be a good thing. The Makers Emporium is the perfect place for great gifts, and offers unique one-off items that you won't find anywhere else."

Over the past year The Makers Emporium has also supported two retail apprentices studying towards a qualification in retail through The Source Skills Academy whilst learning on the job in the store.

Miele Delicatessen also celebrates its first birthday and owners Andrew and Franca Pinkney have been delighted with the response from shoppers. Franca said: "It has been a great first year and would like to thank all our new friends and customers for the loyalty and support they have given to us."

Makers Emporium website

Images: Makers Emporium

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