Work begins on a new retail space at theatre

Renovation of Stamford Corn Exchange -  volunteers putting up partitions EMN-160419-163312009
Renovation of Stamford Corn Exchange - volunteers putting up partitions EMN-160419-163312009
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A team of volunteers are currently hard at work creating a vibrant new retail space at Stamford Corn Exchange.

A 2,600 sq ft room at the theatre, formerly occupied by Love Stamford, is currently being divided up into nine retail units and a café.

Two retailers have already been lined up to trade from the premises and others have expressed an interest.

It is hoped the work will be complete in the next few weeks, with the doors opening to customers in early June.

General manager Judith Mackie said the retail space is hugely important - providing much-needed additional income to keep the theatre running.

She said: “Going right back to 2008, it was our intention to create a community shopping centre and we are now delivering that.

“Work started straight after Love Stamford moved out because we need it back up and running. Without it, we would probably go under.”

The two traders confirmed for the new retail space so far are Stamford Sewing Centre and Kids Stuff.

Enquiries have been received from people interested in selling books, vinyl records and bric-a-brac.

Roger Bradshaw, chairman of the Corn Exchange Theatre Company, said the room, which was previously open-plan, is being divided into units which will each have their own door.

He added: “With each unit being self-contained, the traders can set their own hours and not all be forced to follow the same routine.

“For example if we have a show on, some of the retailers may want to open up to make the most of the increased footfall.”

Mr Bradshaw’s wife, Christine, who was also volunteering, added: “It will give businesses the chance to sell their products without the huge expense of acquiring their own unit in Stamford.”

The theatre is keen to hear from volunteers willing to help with the refurbishment, or to join the front of house 
rota. For more information, call 01780 766455.