Newly opened Dawson’s Arts & Crafts Emporium and The Hop Shoppe, a craft beer bar and bottle shop, are among the latest businesses to have received funding from Fylde Council’s ARG Vacant Premises Grant.

Both are welcome additions to the high street ahead of the busy Christmas shopping period.

Michelle and Lee Dawson have revived empty shop premises on the Crescent in St Annes selling eco-friendly art supplies and gifts.

The couple 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 their business to St Annes 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.

The grant of £5,151 has been used to refurbish the property including plastering, rewiring and flooring.

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.’’

Under the terms of the ARG Vacant Premises Grant, businesses locating to, or expanding into, vacant premises are eligible to receive 50 per cent of the set-up, shop fit, refit or branding costs at a value of up to £10,000.

Khyra Kershaw, who owned a jazz bar on Wood Street in St Annes 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.”

Cllr Karen Buckley, Leader of Fylde Council, is delighted to see more businesses taking advantage of the ARG Vacant Premises Grant.

She said: “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.”


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