A grant of £5,151 has enabled Michelle and Lee Dawson to refurbish an empty shop premises on the Crescent in St Anne’s and open Dawson’s Arts & Crafts Emporium, selling eco-friendly art supplies and gifts. Michelle and Lee moved over to the Fylde Coast from West Yorkshire two years ago, where they had run a successful signage company. They had originally planned to move this business to St Anne’s, but when the premises became available and they realised that it had previously been an arts shop, they decided to change their plans and move into retail.
Dawson’s Arts & Crafts Emporium sells art supplies and gifts including body products, bath bombs, candles, mugs, Christmas decorations, stationery and greeting cards made in the UK.
Michelle explained, ‘We’ve sourced our products from small UK suppliers, many of them made at kitchen tables. We are really going for it in terms of supporting UK businesses and selling eco-friendly products that are biodegradable, compostable and ethically sourced. We are big believers in supporting the local high street and really want to encourage everyone to shop local – it’s better for the environment and it’s better for us all.’
Meanwhile, Khyra Kershaw, who has owned a jazz bar on Wood Street in St Anne’s for almost four years, took the opportunity to expand her business when neighbouring premises became available. She has used the £10,000 grant towards extensive renovations and new shop signage. She has changed her customer offering from a jazz bar to a craft beer and bottle shop, which is due to open in December.
Khyra said, ‘We will be offering something completely different in the local area, it’s quite a unique concept. Each of the drinks available in The Hop Shoppe are sourced from independent businesses right here in the UK. There will be zero alcohol, vegan, organic and gluten free products – something for everyone. The grant has been a real bonus – and has made it possible for me to knock through from my original premises and expand the business.’
Councillor Karen Buckley, Leader of Fylde Council, is delighted to see more businesses taking advantage of the ARG Vacant Premises Grant, saying, ‘It is absolutely wonderful to welcome two more fantastic businesses to St Annes. The ARG Vacant Premises Grant has really boosted our high streets in Kirkham, Lytham and St Annes and every single successful applicant has been an absolute pleasure to work with. I am particularly delighted to see that both Dawson’s Arts & Crafts Emporium and The Hop Shoppe are ethically sourcing products from companies that are committed to reducing their carbon footprint and supporting home-grown businesses.’
The featured photograph shows Councillor Karen Buckley with Michelle and Lee Dawson from Dawson’s Arts & Crafts Emporium receiving their grant.