The ‘Portas Pilot’ effect is thriving in Market Rasen with the opening of three new independent shops in the town centre.
Sweet Beginnings Photography has just opened in Queen Street and Rasen Crafts and ladies clothes shop Isn’t She Lovely will soon be opening in Union Street.
The good news comes not long after Market Rasen Business Improvement Group (MR BIG) rubbished national headlines that said the £100,000 ‘Portas Pilot’ town had 18 empty stores.
MR BIG says there is no truth in the claims - and in fact stores are opening, not closing.
Sweet Beginnings Photography owned by Sharon and Paul Burzynski opened on June 1. It will specialise in children and babies.
Paul has been a photographer since 1987 and the couple already have a studio in Scampton. They wanted to open a second base on a high street with a shop window for displays.
Sharon said: “We came to Market Rasen having heard about Portas Pilot. The town has so much potential.
“Businesses all need to pull together and shout that Market Rasen is the place to be.”
Sharon said she and Paul are willing to help other businesses with photography for any marketing.
In the former Age UK Lindsey shop, Jane Litchfield is preparing to open Rasen Crafts.
Jane, who is a keen crafter herself, will sell all kinds of wool and other craft essentials.
She says she wants a big range and will listen to customers and respond to their needs.
Jane said: “It (Market Rasen) is just really friendly.
“MR BIG are excellent and they’re really trying to help.
“We just need a better range of shops for people so they don’t have to go out of town. I’d like to think I’m contributing to that.”
The shop will open as soon as stock arrives.
On June 22, Marie Spence and business partner James Martin plan to open their second ladies clothes shop, Isn’t She Lovely in the former PG Nuts shop.
Marie, who already has a shop in Brigg, says she sells fashionable clothes for everyone from 16 onwards.
She said: “There’s a gap in the market for this type of shop in Market Rasen.
“It’ll complement the existing clothes shops in the town.
“My shop is doing well in Brigg - there’s no reason it shouldn’t work in Market Rasen too. Give Market Rasen a bit of time and it’ll be brilliant.”
And Marie had this message for anyone thinking of opening a shop in the town: “Just give it a go. Landlords are offering brilliant deals at the moment.”