AN innovative retail pilot scheme opens next week in St Annes.
The Made In Lancashire brand, owned by Myerscough College at Bilsborrow near Garstang, has teamed up with Blackpool-based Social Enterprise Solutions to successfully secure start-up funding from the Local Strategic Partnership in Fylde.
It means a new lease of life for a former travel agent’s shop in Wood Street, as it will feature a collective of locally-sourced Lancashire food and craft producers.
A selection of fine, locally sourced foods and crafts such as biscuits, jams, sweets, chutneys, handmade ceramics, paintings, jewellery, wooden objects and fashion accessories – all made by independent producers – will all be available when the store opens on Friday, December 7.
The aim of the shop is to broaden the range of locally sourced goods available in St Annes by introducing new products onto the shelves.
The cash will help fund some of the costs for the new shop for a trial period of first three months.
It is hoped that the store will build up a regular customer base and strong support that will allow it to continue to trade in the future.
Ella Trickett from the Made in Lancashire team said: “We are delighted to be opening this shop.
“Many of the businesses that we work with are not in a position to open retail outlets themselves but collectively it has been possible, with the help of the Local Strategic Partnership and Social Enterprise Solutions.”
Tony Carr, managing director at Social Enterprise Solutions, added: “We have helped dozens of social enterprises to start up on the Fylde Coast but it is the first time we have partnered an organisation in this way.”
John Moxham, chairman of St Annes Chamber of Trade, said: “It’s a great idea and it is wonderful to see a shop of this kind opening in St Annes. It is an excellent use of empty premises and we are sure it will prove popular.
“We wish them the very best of luck for the future.”