Antiques centre to open in Sidmouth, replacing charity shop
- Credit: Archant
A dog in a shop window has been attracting the attention of the town while he snoozes away, waiting for his owners to transform a charity shop into a new antiques centre.
Passersby have been stopping to say hello to Hugo the 12-year-old Welsh Terrier, who can be spotted most weekends in the window of old Hospisecare shop.
His owners, Vincent Page and his partner Lesley, have taken out a ten year lease to open an antiques centre, in Fore Street. The pair have been working hard most weekends, to get ready for the grand opening on Saturday, December 1.
Initially it will only be on the ground floor but there are plans to the expand onto a second floor by March.
To start off with, it will be open six days a week and will offer cabinet rental opportunities for 20 dealers in all areas of the antiques, vintage and handmade trade. It will eventually provide three full-time jobs.
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Vincent said: “It is a lovely town. We have had so many people walking past and singing: ‘How much is that doggy in the window?’
“Hugo really likes sitting and watching everyone pass by.
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“We have been looking for somewhere to open a centre for months, all over the country. When I came across Sidmouth, I just knew this was the place. I put in an offer just three after having a viewing.
“I love the fact it is a town with so many independent businesses.”
Vincent is known for his work in Oxford where he saved struggling independent centre Antiques on High.
Caroline Henney is one of 40 dealers and craft makers who trade at the Oxford centre and said: “The Oxford centre has been in business for 21 years, but it would have closed down 18 months ago if Vincent had not saved it.
“When the lease was up for renewal it looked as if the only taker for the premises was a cafe.”
Antiques Trade Gazette ran a story to try to find a new owner and Vincent stepped forward.
She added: “Many independents in High Streets across the land are struggling in the current business conditions and any business needs inspired leadership to not only keep it going but to build and increase trade.
“I’m not exaggerating when I say that Vincent Page has definitely worked magic to bring our business into the 21st century, re-vamping and decorating, introducing new dealers and ideas to the shop and making sure traders maximise their sales.”