Feature

New Prescot shop opens for business

A brand new initiative in Prescot open its doors for business thanks to a local charity’s campaign to support entrepreneurship.
Late last year One Ark, part of the First Ark Group, launched a competition to support a local retailer by providing a unit rent-free for a year.
Grace Lea, a furniture upcycling and restoration business, a brainchild of Knowsley-based owner Cheryl Mullins, Grace Lea will sell a range of high quality restored vintage furniture and bespoke items at affordable prices.
As the furniture will be restored on site, Cheryl will also host workshops from the unit, which will teach others the skills they need to upcycle their own smaller items.
Following a three-stage process, Cheryl beat off competition from 25 other business owners to win the space in the shopping centre.
Her business will now benefit from a 12 month rent-free period, full refurbishment of the premises which will be completed by Vivark, and structured business advice and support from the Merseyside Special Investment Fund, The Women’s Organisation and Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council.
Cheryl also wins membership of Knowsley Chamber of Commerce.
The project, piloted in Knowsley, has received interest on a national scale with other city centres looking to replicate it.
Cheryl said: “This is an amazing opportunity for me to be able to get my business up and running and provide for my family.  
“To be able to operate rent-free for a year will enable me to focus on establishing and growing the business rather than worrying about covering such a large overhead.  
“I’m looking forward to learning from the self-employment support and developing my business, while at the same time being able to give something back to the community too.”  

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