New Blackburn market artisans set stall for success

2:43pm Monday 12th November 2012

BLACKBURN Market’s Artisan Row for new traders is taking off with the first of its businesses taking a full stall on a three-year lease.

Three more are looking to follow Ashraf Patel, of Sno-Tubz, down this route.

One is taking a site in The Mall in addition to his ‘incubator’ slot and another has moved to premises elsewhere in the town after successfully testing his idea.

Regeration boss Dave Harling has hailed the row as ‘extremely successful’. It was created in July to allow people with a business idea to take a trial stall for £50 a week without a long-term lease.

Mr Harling said that after 22 traders took the original 30 stalls, five more are on the waiting list of ‘artisan’ traders.

Mark Smith, of the Exchange Coffee Company, who masterminded the scheme said: “It’s going really well. We are getting a lot of traders coming along and trying out their idea at a low price without a long lease to commit to.

“One has taken a full stall and three more are in discussions with a view to a permanent lease.

“Not everyone is going to succeed, but that is the idea. People can dip their toe in the water and find out if it works.”

Mr Patel, who sells iced refreshments, is delighted to be signing a three year lease. He said: “It was ideal. It gave the chance to try it out. I’m delighted to have got a proper stall and had a really good half-term. I’m hoping people will be stopping by to cool down over the Christmas period after a hot day’s shopping.”

Simon Dean, of Giggles and Dribbles gifts, said: “I’ve been here about six weeks and its enabled me to learn what its all about. It’s going well and let me start out with something I could afford.”

Mr Smith revealed five traders closed for various reasons while a photographer relocated to more suitable premises elsewhere.


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