An empty unit in Spindles shopping centre has been brought back into use by Oldham Council to show off the best of local businesses.
Oldham Made is a pop-up shop dedicated to the borough’s local, independent businesses, showcasing their products and selling them all in one place.
Crafts, clothes, candles, locally brewed beers and gifts will all be up for sale at the site, which will be open Monday-Saturday throughout March.
The idea for the pop-up shop came from public consultations about the massive regeneration plans laid out for Oldham town centre.
Officials asked for opinions about the plans, which included relocating the historic Tommyfield market into Spindles and regenerating the shopping centre to include a dedicated food hall, event space, and offices.
The plans attracted a lot of criticism, with many people saying the empty shops in the market were a real problem, and some suggesting the space be made available for smaller businesses.
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Now, with support from The Welcome Back Fund, the suggestion has become a reality for around a dozen small business owners across Oldham.
Coun Arooj Shah, leader of Oldham Council, said: “Oldham Made will showcase the amazing range of talent we have in Oldham, while giving our local entrepreneurs and makers a helping hand.
“By providing a space where small businesses can come together to show off their fantastic range of products, we hope to create a buzz about shopping small, shopping local, and shopping Oldham Made.
“But what’s really exciting is that Oldham Made is just one small part of our plans for Spindles and the regeneration of our town centre, and just one of the many ways we’re supporting the small and independent businesses doing awesome things in our borough.”
The shop, near the high street entrance of Spindles opposite Boots, has some “fun and quirky” design features.
A unicorn-shaped seat covered in grass, and a floral piece of art with a neon flamingo light in the centre, are both perfect for Instagram pictures.
Products from a wide range of businesses, including candlemakers Scents of Saddleworth, hat and cushion creator From Samarie To You, and dog boutique Sidney and Sapphire will be on display across the month.
Ffitness brand Maquina & Machine, bespoke gifts by Catolyn Hollinshead, and books by award-winning Delph author J C Perry will also be on sale.
From Saturday, March 5th, the store will also have four specially designed bags for life available for customers.
Anyone is able to bring their receipt from an independent shop in Oldham showing they spent at least £5 and exchange it for one of the limited edition bags.
Oldham Made will be open every Monday to Saturday 9-5pm until March 31.