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Independents join forces in bid to create their own artisans' area

By Shepton Mallet Journal  |  Posted: December 05, 2013

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INDEPENDENT shops are standing together to try to create Wells' own Artisan Quarter.

As businesses are battered on all sides by internet shopping and the buying power of big chains, traders on Tucker Street, Market Street, Queen Street and Priory Road are joining forces in a new bid to boost small independent businesses.

And to launch the initiative they will be hosting a late night shopping night on December 19.

Fourteen shops have agreed to open between 6pm and 8pm, giving shoppers the chance to visit their stores after hours.

Bee Arnoux, from Boutique Florists, said: "I think a lot of people want to use independent traders to buy their Christmas bits and bobs but some people don't even know there are shops in Market Street Courtyard.

"This will be great way of attracting people off the high street and into the parts of Wells they didn't know about."

Market Street Courtyard will be decorated in a festive theme with holly wreaths and festive lights.

Mulled wine and mince pies will be available on the night and carols will be sung by the courtyard's own Christmas tree.

Bee added: "Every year people ask about late-night shopping in Wells so when a few of the traders were asked about it this year we thought why not? Our night could be the launch of Wells answer to Frome's Catherine Hill.

"By branding ourselves the Artisan Quarter a clear message is given to shoppers that we are all independently-owned shops."

The shops involved in the night are The Alchemist's Tea Emporium, The Antiques & Interiors Centre, Boutique Florists, Sew Vintage Haberdashery & Sewing Parlour, High Wire The Hops Room, Vintage Shop & Tea Room, Nerys Davies Designer Goldsmith, Queen Street Deli, Poppy Greens Home, The Changing Room, Priory Vintage, Bella Beads Boutique, The Good Earth and Earth Craft.

Any other traders who want get involved in the Artisan Quarter and the late shopping night can call Bee on 01749 938004.

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