An innovative social enterprise is to provide a creative home for new, upcoming and established artists and designers at Beverley’s popular Flemingate centre.
Designed to promote and develop creative individuals, THECREATIVELAB will provide cost-effective shared retail space for the creative community to display and sell their work in a fully-staffed retail environment, without the usual costly overheads incurred by small businesses.
The brainchild of Beverley-based artists Mikey Mathieson and Chris Kidd, THECREATIVELAB will give artists, designers and inventors the support and resources needed to achieve commercial exposure and success. Resources will include experienced salespeople; marketing of individual brands; a web platform with links to those brands; payment card transactions; and bags and packaging services.
Mr Mathieson, joint director of THECREATIVELAB, said: “This is a great opportunity to give local creative individuals and companies the resources and support needed to become a commercially successful business.
“High costs and overheads can often mean talented artists simply do not have the revenue to showcase and sell their work. THECREATIVELAB will offer those people a mainstream retail environment at a fraction of the cost.”
Set to open at the end of March, THECREATIVELAB will occupy a 1,800 sq ft unit next to leading coffee brand Starbucks within the Armstrong House building at Flemingate.
Mr Kidd added: “Our new premises in Flemingate will enable artists and designers to receive professional retail exposure in a high-profile shopping centre which we believe will enhance the shopping experience for residents and visitors to Beverley.
“We provide all the retail services a business needs, such as salespeople and card machines – we even manage the stocktaking and sales forecasts.
“Our members will be able to concentrate on producing creative artwork and products, knowing their goods will be on sale in a highly-professional retail outlet within a busy shopping centre.”
Graham Tait, Flemingate Centre manager, said: “We’re delighted THECREATIVELAB is joining the ever-growing commercial community at Flemingate. It will add further variety and vibrancy to the retail and leisure offer at Flemingate and bring further footfall into the centre.
”The artists behind this innovative venture are bringing the concept to Flemingate at a perfect time, with Hull’s year as UK City of Culture in full swing and generating strong interest in the creative arts across the region.”
Developed and owned by Hull-based regeneration company Wykeland Group, the Flemingate development is Beverley’s largest ever regeneration scheme.
Flemingate has a host of major high street names such as Debenhams, H&M, River Island, Peacocks, Superdrug, The Entertainer and Wilko as well as the multi-brand retailer Outfit, which features fashion must-haves from the likes of Topshop, Topman, Dorothy Perkins, Wallis, Miss Selfridge and Burton. These are complemented by high-quality independents – fashion store Bolo, jeweller Guest and Philips and homewares retailer Baytree Interiors.
Flemingate has extended and enhanced Beverley town centre and made the historic market town a bigger draw than ever before. In addition to many leading national retailers that could not previously be accommodated in Beverley, Flemingate has brought much-needed new facilities to the town, including East Riding College, an 80-bed Premier Inn, six-screen independent Parkway cinema and 130 new homes.