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Businesses to debut at Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre

New businesses set up by artists and crafters who took up a council initiative will make their debut at this month’s Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre.

Earlier this year, West Suffolk Council teamed up with community artist Louise Gridley to offer free training and support on how to set up a market-based business.

The first four to complete the training will launch their new ventures in The Traverse on the Thursday, Friday and Sunday of the fayre (November 21-24). They will then trade for a free period on markets in Bury, Haverhill, Mildenhall and Newmarket.

Christelle, Susan John and Michele (20418872)
Christelle, Susan John and Michele (20418872)

Louise said: “The aim of this venture has been to give business support and mentoring to people who already possess the creative skills but were perhaps unsure about how to market and sell their products.”

John Griffiths, West Suffolk Council leader, said: “Part of the council’s role is supporting the development and growth of new businesses, from the seeds of a table top venture into something more established.

“Our markets are a great place to start a new business. Over the years we have had many market businesses grow to establish shops as well as an online presence, while many continue to trade and enjoy life on the market.”

Among the new businesses is Churchouse Stained Glass, set up by Michele Russell, of Elmswell. Michele started pursuing a creative interest in stained glass after taking voluntary redundancy four years ago. She bought a second-hand kiln in 2018 and makes jewellery and lead-framed stained glass designs.

“I’m very much looking forward to marketing my products,” she said.

Fellow Elmswell resident John Abercrombie learned woodturning after retiring in 2017. He will be selling his hand-made decorated platters, bowls and other items.

“This initiative has come at the opportune time for me to take advantage and will allow me to set up as a commercial market maker. I’m really looking forward to being a part of the fayre,” said John.

Michele and John will be joined by Wicken Candles and Gifts, set up by Susan Curtis-Griffiths, of Wicken, and Lepetit Signs, which was set up by Christelle Lepetit, of Haverhill.

For more information, go to www.burystedmundschristmasfayre.co.uk

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