While town centres across the country struggle to recover from the pandemic, Crediton High Street seems to be bucking the trend, with no less than four new businesses opening. Our editor Rosemary Stephenson has been meeting the new traders and finding out why they have put their faith in Crediton.
nelson - Framing, Photography, Art & Design
David and his partner left London last summer and rented a house in Crediton, while they looked around the West Country for somewhere to buy. They liked Crediton so much that they decided to stay.
I love Crediton says David, who worked as a people photographer in London for 30 years. The town square is amazing and it has retained a proper High Street.
When No 18 High Street became available (the former clothes shop, Kathea) David bought not just the shop but the whole building and moved into the flat above.
I was so excited when I saw the property, it’s a fantastic space.
The building needs a huge amount of renovation work which David estimates will take up to 3 years. Work has already started but, despite the chaos of a building site, he has already opened his framing business, named after his father, Nelson.
I believe there’s a market for framing and that I can offer something that is needed,’ he explains. He also plans to provide exhibition space to local artists, a photographic studio and, if there is demand, to sell artists materials.
You can contact David by email
A few doors along at No 7, the former Pet Shop has also been transformed into a hub of creativity. In his recently opened shop ‘Revival’, artist Andrew Alleway is selling an eclectic mix of furniture and household items that he has made, restored or painted.
Andrew, who had been working as a builder, was keen to return to being an artist. I like Crediton, it’s an up and coming town says Andrew, who has moved from Ottery St Mary.
Andrew has also bought the whole building, with plans to restore it. He is living above the shop and has a studio behind it, where he restores and paints furniture. In fact he is so busy in his studio, that he asks customers to ring the bell or phone him so he can open the shop for them.
At the other end of the High Street another space for artists is taking shape. At no 100 Jon Elworthy and his daughter Eve Drover are soon to open a gallery and coffee shop.
The front half will be a gallery space and the back a coffee shop, selling coffee and cakes made by Eve explains Jon. There will be leather sofas, armchairs, a window seat. It will be a lovely space to sit, have coffee and look at art.
I think coffee and art go hand in hand says Eve, who has lived in the flat above the shop at No 100 since moving to Crediton from Exeter in 2015.
She and her father had talked about running a café together, so when the shop below her flat became available they felt it was an opportunity not to be missed.
They plan to exhibit mainly local artists. Crediton is full of excellent artists, we’ve already met some amazing people, says Jon, who is an abstract artist and plans to exhibit his own work as well.
They also hope to run monthly music evenings, when people can enjoy the artwork over a glass of wine while listening to local musicians.
@100 is due to open at end of September or early October.
Rocket & Rose
Across the road at No 49, the intriguingly named Rocket & Rose has just opened selling branded T-shirts and sweatshirts for kids and adults.
We print quirky, relatable and fun slogans, says owner Gemma Ansell-Nelson. Our clothing is all sustainable and ethical, designed and printed by me and my team of seven like-minded mums at our workshop in Winkleigh.
Gemma set up the business on her kitchen table 10 years ago and it has steadily grown as an online business selling to outlets across the UK. But I’ve always wanted to have a shop, I’m really excited and enjoying meeting people.
I love Crediton, all the shops are full which is wonderful, you can get everything you need here.
Alongside the Rocket & Rose fashion range, Gemma also runs Rocket Clothing which provides branded clothes, merchandise and uniforms for businesses. We have over 30,000 garments to choose from and samples here that people can try. We’ve already had a lot of interest from local companies who want to shop locally.