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New shops open in Northwich
HERITAGE and community have inspired new businesses to set up shop in Northwich.
After the doom and gloom of Weaver Square Shopping Centre going into receivership new shopkeepers are proving that the town still has a lot to offer.
Northwich’s historic buildings inspired Barbara Kerford to set up Sew Easy in the former Northwich Chronicle office.
“It was the black and white buildings,” she said, “I wanted somewhere really old fashioned, I didn’t want to go into a clinical shop.
“I wanted somewhere where people can come in, have a cup of tea and share ideas – I love listening to what people used to do and how they used to do it.”
As well as selling material and a whole host of sewing accessories, Sew Easy is an craft version of an internet cafe.
Customers can rent a table for £6 an hour, giving them access to a sewing machine, overlocker, hemming machine, embroidery machine and cutting tables, as well as advice and expertise from Barbara and her mum Elsie Gibson, 84, who has been a tailoress since she was 14.
Barbara said: “Our mission is that everyone should have access to a sewing machine.
“The response so far is ‘thank goodness you’re here, this is what Northwich needs’.”
Meanwhile, two employees from the former Party Time shop, in Witton Street, have opened a new party supplies shop in the former Northwich Guardian office, in Market Way.
Bev McGrath and Gemma Buckley, both from Weaverham, decided to open The Wow Shop due to public demand.
Gemma said: “We’ve opened it purely because of demand from the customers.”
Bev said: “I’ve done balloons for 14 years and you grow up with people – you do their 21st, their engagement then their wedding – so we know so many people and people were mortified when Party Time closed.”
Gemma said: “People have been really supportive and have been saying it’s nice to see a new business opening rather than closing down – so many people have been to wish us well.”
A furniture shop has also opened in the former Ethel Austins, in Witton Street, and Howdens Joinery is set to open up in the old Birtwistle Peugeot showroom, in Old Warrington Road.
Although Weaver Square Shopping Centre has gone into receivership, shops and businesses within it are still operating as normal.