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Former JT Whyles and Sons shoe shop, in Abbey Road, to become new home for The Craft Centre Bourne



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A former shoe shop is to become a new crafts hub after a successful town business decided to expand.

The Craft Centre Bourne is to move from West Street to Abbey Road and, after an extensive refurbishment, owner Philippa Dixon-Warren hopes to open for business by August next year.

Family shoe business JT Whyles and Sons closed in May having traded in Bourne since the 1950s.

The Craft Centre's current home in West Street
The Craft Centre's current home in West Street

Looking for bigger premises to expand her business in wool and yarns, cross stitch, needle-related crafts, woolcraft accessories and artisan gifts, Philippa snapped it up in July.

"Despite lockdown and the other difficulties of the pandemic, I've had wonderful support from my customers in Bourne and the surrounding areas," she said.

"I'm a little apprehensive about expanding the business, but also very excited because it's a way to provide a better service."

Craft Centre owner Philippa Dixon-Warren
Craft Centre owner Philippa Dixon-Warren

Philippa, who has lived in Haconby with husband Richard for 14 years, works with several local artisan traders in her current shop and hopes to offer space for more after the move.

She also hopes to restart craft workshops, classes and groups which were stopped by covid restrictions.

Her plans for Abbey Road include a purpose-built classroom, subject to planning permission.

JT Whyles shoe shop, in Abbey Street, closed in May. Photo: Google
JT Whyles shoe shop, in Abbey Street, closed in May. Photo: Google

"I want to provide a safe and quiet space for people to chat, talk and laugh while knitting, felting, crocheting or taking part in other crafts," she added.

"I hope to bring in natural fibres for spinning and felting in time, and the space and layout of the new premises is an important factor in this."

The Craft Centre was first opened by Sally Barker in 2015 before Philippa bought the lease three years ago.

A group of local artisans sell their goods at the shop
A group of local artisans sell their goods at the shop

Floristry had been her first venture into business before deciding to develop her love of crafts into something more than a hobby by launching a small knit-to-order business.

Having sold some of her work at the Craft Centre she took it over looking to develop the business as a centre for wool and a haven for fellow craft lovers.

"I believe strongly that working with wool, alone or in company, is good for mental health," she added.

Philippa wanted to develop the business as a centre for wool
Philippa wanted to develop the business as a centre for wool


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