Friday, 27 November 2015

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Camden Lock plans for Carlisle city centre vintage traders

TWO leading vintage dealers are hoping to create Cumbria’s answer to Camden Lock in the heart of Carlisle.

Ambition: Stuart Bruce-Gormley and Sara Fabre want to create a ‘permanent emporium’ for dealers

Stuart Bruce-Gormley and Sara Fabre, who organise A Very Vintage Affair, now want to set up a “permanent emporium” in the city centre.

Warwick Tower will offer an eclectic mix of stalls and services with a slightly Bohemian leaning.

Mr Bruce-Gormley said: “The fairs were a foundation for what we saw as a much-needed enterprise in Carlisle.

“For too long small independent artisans have struggled to make their work visible on the high street.

“We always had the idea of creating a place with the feel of Camden Lock where shoppers can browse in a creative environment.

“We want to enable traders from across as many alternative scenes to sell their work or provide a service in fully managed premises, without the need for them to be there on a daily basis.”

Mr Bruce-Gormley wants to create a “unique” shopping experience which offers goods and services not normally available on the high street.

He is keen to hear from any anyone from crafters and antique dealers to tattoo artists and vintage hairdressers.

He said: “The whole ethos will be ‘all for one and one for all’. It has to be a business but we want to keep rents as low as possible.

“This is something we haven’t had for about 30 years and it’s long overdue.

“In terms of our audience we want to see exactly the same people we see at our fairs – from 80-year-old women to older children. We have also seen massive increase in students.”

The premises are in the Crescent and Citadel area of the city centre but Mr Bruce-Gomley would not say more than that at this stage.

Traders who are granted a concession will be expected to help with housekeeping. Those who show “serious interest” will be invited to a meeting in January.

Mr Bruce-Gormley needs to get at least 12 traders on board to make the scheme viable.

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