Josie Mason, known as Jo, sews and knits a wide variety of unique art and hand-made gifts, as well as beautiful custom-made ragdolls, made with vintage fabrics. Her business is called Rosie Jo Creations.
Cake designer Kim Healy has moved in with her business, Love Cakes. Kim is professionally trained in sugar craft and uses all local produce in her cakes, which are also preservative-free. She is joining her daughter, fashion designer Becky Healy, who is already established at Created In Tamworth.
The third new tenant is Steve Tongue, a graphic designer who, along with his wife Sarah, also offers photographic restoration, sign making and printing.
The project is a Tamworth Borough Council initiative aimed at supporting and developing Tamworth’s creative businesses, while at the same time boosting town centre trade. The shop, based in the old Tourist Information Centre in Market Street, was opened by Hotel Inspector and business guru Alex Polizzi in November.
The aim of the project is to help start-up creative businesses by providing town centre studio, gallery and selling space. The business rates are subsidised for two years, after which the business will pay market rent or move onto other premises. The tenants are also offered help with business plans and other commercial support to enable them to establish and grow their business.
The building can accommodate five creative businesses, with each having their own studio and sharing the gallery and shop space on the ground floor. The project is open to any small creative industry from Tamworth, including jewellery makers, photographers, card makers and fashion designers and plans are also in the pipeline for art workshops to be run in the courtyard at Created In Tamworth, to allow members of the public to develop their own creativity.
The creation of a studio and gallery space for arts-based businesses has been led by Tamworth Borough Council’s Arts & Events team, following a survey of artists and organisations belonging to the ArtSwitch network which found the majority of them would like to see gallery and studio space being made available in the town centre.
Cllr Steve Claymore, Cabinet member for Economy, said, “Created In Tamworth is an exciting and innovative business development programme and I am delighted to see it is growing and succeeding.
“It not only helps creative businesses to start-up and grow, but also helps to revive and support town centre trade. This is a unique opportunity for creative people of all types in Tamworth to display and sell their works in what is quickly becoming a creative hot-spot.”
The businesses now based at Created In Tamworth are:
- Fashion designer Becky Healy
- Painter Sue Verity
- Hand-made gifts, crafts and rag dolls by Jo Mason
- Cake designer Kim Healy
- Graphic designers Steve and Sarah Tongue
Sue and Becky have been part of the project since the beginning and have been very successful. They are looking forward to working with the new tenants in this fantastic opportunity.
There are two shared spaces still available, which are open to all creative industries. Anyone interested in renting a space at Created In Tamworth should contact the Arts and Events Team on 01827 709314.