Creative individuals who would like to take their talents to the next level are being given the opportunity to set up shop in Tamworth town centre as part of an innovative project, which aims to give start-up businesses a helping hand.
Created in Tamworth in Market Street is a Tamworth Borough Council initiative offering studio, gallery and prime retail space at reduced rates – as well as commercial advice and support – with the aim of developing local creative businesses.
The former Tourist Information Centre building has studio and workshop space on the first and second floors and a collaborative gallery and retail space on the ground floor.
It currently has room for another four people and is perfect for those looking to take the leap from dining room table hobby to fully fledged high street business. The project is open to any small creative industry from Tamworth – including jewellery makers, artists, photographers, card makers and fashion designers. The main requirement is that people design and make their own unique items to sell.
Opened in 2013, Created in Tamworth aims to support start-ups in the early stages of their businesses with the hope that they will gain the knowledge and experience needed to grow further.
Previous tenants have been able to move on to new ventures, such as bigger premises dedicated to their own businesses.
As well as benefiting from business development support from Tamworth Borough Council, Created in Tamworth tenants can also share ideas and experience with each other with the aim of attracting new customers and building a successful collaborative venture.
The project is currently home to Teresa Radcliffe’s Vintage Makes and Bakes and Josie Mason’s RosieJo Creations.
Longstanding chefs Teresa and Nick Radcliffe started their own business making and decorating cakes for all occasions and decided to take it to the next level with a shop front.
Teresa has been based in Created in Tamworth since last summer and has now extended the business to include a tea room element where people can enjoy her tasty treats, including tea and toast with homemade jam, on a day-to-day basis.
Teresa said, “I had always wanted my own shop and Created in Tamworth has enabled me to get on the high street at an affordable price. I am very happy with how it’s going. Business is booming and I’m incredibly busy; I even have to turn people away at times.
“I was working from home before and it’s so hard because you don’t get the passing trade. Here we get lots of people walking past and coming in, including visitors from places like Lichfield and Rugeley, as well as Tamworth.
Josie Mason has been based at Created in Tamworth for two years where she sews, knits and paints a variety of items such as bunting, bridesmaid’s dresses with ‘mini me’ ragdoll keepsakes made in the image of bridesmaids and pageboys, Christening gowns and matching daughter and dolly outfits. She also now teaches a variety of workshops at the shop including sewing, knitting and water colour painting.
Josie said, “Being able to come to Created in Tamworth to sew, knit and paint in my studio has been so therapeutic for me. I also love to help others, including children, to tap into their creativity and I find pleasure in helping people to experience the same joy that I get from crafting.”
Cllr Steve Claymore, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Regeneration, said, “Created in Tamworth is a very innovative project which aims to develop Tamworth’s creative businesses by providing people with the opportunity and confidence to turn their hobbies into successful business ventures.
“It has been a real success story so far and many tenants have used the skills they acquired at Created in Tamworth to build successful businesses in their own right and under their own steam elsewhere.
“The shop also brings a unique offering to the high street with a variety of handmade items on display and helps to boost trade in that part of the town centre. I would urge anyone considering taking the next step in their creative business to get in touch and have a look at the space on offer – who knows where it could lead!”
The building can accommodate another four creative businesses, with each having their own workshop/studio space and sharing the shop space on the ground floor. Rents range from £150 to £325 per month, plus minimal utility costs.
Anyone interested in renting a space at Created in Tamworth can contact the Arts Development Team on 01827 709314 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.