Brigg open for business
With a wide choice of independent businesses offering a range ofgoods and creative services, visitors to this popular market town are spoilt for choice, says Melanie Burton.
The north Lincolnshire market town of Brigg has always prided itself on its range of unique independent businesses and shops and yet again they are playing a big part in helping to bring the visitors back into the centre.
It has been a long road back from Covid for all sectors of business and the consequences are still being felt in some areas.
But Brigg has always had a determined spirit and thanks to what the independent shops and artisan markets have to offer, the town is busier than people might assume.
Brigg has a plethora of shops selling a diverse range of goods from quirky knick-knacks, gifts and homeware to the usual books, clothes and jewellery, mainly centred around a pedestrianised area with a myriad of historic courtyards leading off the Market Place and Wrawby Street.
Many are well-established family run businesses which did all they could to survive the lockdowns and restrictions and adapt to new ways of working.
Kennedi Boutique is one such shop.
Owner Aimee Waudby, who opened the shop 16 years ago, put the lockdown to good use and trained as a stylist with the London College of Style to add a new offering to her business.
Aimee can now offer personal styling advice and colour analysis on a one-to-one basis in-store and in clients’ homes.
“That has opened up a lot of opportunities for me,” Aimee explained. “I now do a lot of work out of hours going into people’s homes to look at their wardrobe and give advice on a personal basis about their wardrobe, styles and colour analysis. It is a new service since Covid.
“It is insightful and gives me a bit more learning and gives the customer extra expertise.”
The shop also relocated during lockdown which has been good for business.
“We moved during lockdown from one end of Wrawby Street down near the bridge to the centre of the town which has been good for us and is better because the car park behind the shop offers free parking on a Saturday and two hours’ free parking in the week,” Aimee said.
“We are fortunate because we are well established and have a loyal clientele. We are doing pretty well and on the whole I class myself as pretty fortunate.”
Aimee added: “The ages of the staff vary from 27 and 45 to 50 and 72 so it is a good age demographic, which means we can deal with clients of all ages.”
The shop caters for all figures and styles, stocking sizes 16 to 30 and a number of well-known popular brands such as French Connection, Scotch & Soda, Fransa, which is Danish, and a Spanish range which is highly popular.
Aimee said: “Vilagallo is quite unusual and colourful and is exclusive to us, with the nearest stockist being in London. People travel to us from all over for Vilagallo.”
Brigg was always a popular destination for shoppers and things are starting to pick up now despite the cost-of-living crisis.
“Footfall is pretty good especially on the last Saturday of the month when we have the Farmers’ Market, which brings lots of people into the town. It is booming and it has gone from strength to strength,” Aimee said.
“More and more people are visiting Brigg – with it being pedestrianised they feel very safe. It is easy to park, you get the farmers’ artisan stalls and independent shops too. It is busier in Brigg than people think.”
Another shop that has done much to attract visitors back to the town is independent bookshop The Rabbit Hole, which was launched by husband and wife team Nick and Mel Webb in 2017 and is helping to put Brigg on the map.
It was instrumental in bringing the Totally Locally Indie Market to the town and also the No Limits Festival, held at Normanby Hall in September.
“The Rabbit Hole had a great year last year with the growth of the Totally Locally Brigg Indie Market, the launch of the No Limits Festival at Normanby Hall Country Park and winning the prestigious Independent Bookshop of the Year for its region at The Bookseller’s Awards,” said Nick.
“It was also a great week recently at The Big Malarkey Festival in Hull with Hull Libraries and the Hull Schools Library Service.”
The Rabbit Hole has put together an action-packed programme for this year’s No Limits Festival with best-selling authors, inspiring illustrators, live theatre, music workshops and much more in a huge celebration of creativity.
The free festival will see more than 40 acts appear across seven activity zones, ensuring visitors will enjoy interactive experiences and new sights and sounds around every corner of the award-winning Normanby Hall Park.
“In the next few weeks, the line-up for this year’s festival will be announced,” Nick added.
“For an inaugural event we were all really pleased with the feedback, participation and visitor numbers and intend this year’s event to be even bigger and better thanks to the support of the local community and the great team at Normanby Hall.
“We are hoping this will become a nationally recognised event to help promote reading for pleasure and creativity in the region.
“We continue to help support and develop community and independent creativity and working with schools and groups across the region and are developing ideas to increase support in this area during the next year with a new project called ‘creActiv’.
“This follows our successful ESF project last year and will build on growing links with colleges and schools across the region, as well as the number of creatives now attracted to the Indie Market in Brigg.”
Brigg Wool Shop in the Market Place was set up by a mother and daughter team in September 2019 and stocks everything to do with knitting. This month you can try your hand at Tunisian crotchet, weaving wall art, amigurumi, wet felt pictures or just learn to knit.
Furniture retailer and upholstery specialist Grandad’s Shed is one of the longest established businesses in the town, starting out as a small market stall more than 23 years ago and now located in a two-storey building in Wrawby Street.
It sells traditional and contemporary furniture, home accessories, prints, mirrors, lamps and quality gifts as well as made-to-measure furniture.
NEW BUS ROUTES LAUNCHED
Two new bus routes have been launched running between Barton-upon-Humber and Brigg.
Funded by Government cash, the buses connect not only the low villages between Barton and Brigg, but also link villages across the Isle of Axholme to Epworth. As a pilot scheme, the future of the routes in the long-term is not secure.
Council leader Cllr Rob Waltham said: “Public transport is a major issue for people living in our smaller villages and now, thanks to Government cash, we are seeking to establish these two new pilot routes where the market cannot sustain 57-seater buses.
“These new regular bus services will connect residents, enabling them to visit some of our bigger towns to shop, access doctors and dentists and also visit friends and family.
“These routes are part of the council’s plan to offer more flexible transport for local residents and enable them to use greener transport options – we want this to be just the start, so it is important that people use it when it’s here.”
BREAKTHROUGH TREATMENT FOR DRY AMD EYE PROBLEMS NOW AVAILABLE LOCALLY
As 23 age, our sight tends to become less clear and some of us will develop what is known as ‘Dry Age-related Macular Degeneration’. When this happens, the central area of our vision darkens and becomes blurred, making it difficult to see detail, and preventing activities such as driving, reading, watching TV, using computers, tablets and so on. Even recognising faces can prove difficult.
Until recently, there were no effective treatments for Dry AMD, the only suggestions being lifestyle changes or dietary supplements. Now sufferers will be delighted to learn that there is a newly developed treatment available locally. It is a safe, non-invasive, painless therapy which is fully approved under European and UK directives.
This breakthrough treatment is known as photobiomodulation (PBT) and uses a cold laser system to produce low levels of red, yellow and infra-red light to stimulate the centre of vision by energising and providing oxygen for cell repair.
Results from extensive monitored trials of the therapy show that for many Dry AMD sufferers there can be an improvement in sharpness of vision corresponding to some five or eight extra letters on the testing chart. This therapy has also been shown to help diabetics who have certain eye problems related to their diabetes.
Dr Sheeraz Janjua is now providing this new treatment at his special clinics held regularly at O’Brien’s Opticians in Brigg. He can be contacted on 01652 653595.
SHOP FOR THE GREAT OUTDOORS AT WALLHEAD’S
If you’re looking for a quality range of outdoor and country clothing at great prices, Wallhead’s Countrywear offers a selection of classic sporting brands, as well as formal and casual wear. Established in 1897 by James Blackburn Wallhead, this highly regarded family run store in Wrawby Street, Brigg, is run by fourth generation Richard Wallhead, who is committed to offering five-star customer service.
Here local shoppers, as well as customers who travel from far and wide, including New Zealand and the USA, can enjoy exceptional personal attention from the friendly and experienced team. The shop specialises in clothing from well-known brands such as Schöffel, Barbour, Brook Taverner, Le Chameau, Aigle, Viyella, Peter England, Gurteen and Farah, Hawick knitwear and Failsworth hats and caps. Quality shooting clothing by German brand Schöffel is available, including tweed breeks and waistcoats with caps to match. Choose from a selection of popular Gore-Tex and Venturi shooting coats, all fully waterproof and machine washable, as well as ski jackets for both men and women.
For more information contact Wallhead’s, tel: 01652 652356.
ENDURANCE OPENS ITS DOORS IN BRIGG
As part of its expansion and in support of its local installer network, Endurance Doors has recently opened a brand new showroom in the town of Brigg.
A member of the Rocal Group, Endurance is one of the largest employers in the vicinity, with more than 250 staff members over two sites and is currently implementing an ambitious strategy to grow substantially over the next 18 months.
With more than 800 installers of its doors throughout the UK, Endurance is proud to manufacture the most stylish, solid and secure composite door on the market and is the only composite door manufacturer in the UK rated as excellent on Trustpilot.
Many Endurance customers find their way to the website, where they can utilise the ‘Door Designer’ to create the perfect entranceway to their home, but since last October the dedicated staff have also been providing personal design consultations within their new showroom facility.
Homeowners can call or book an appointment online to sit with the showroom staff to discuss their requirements, such as the style of their house, and spend time viewing and getting hands-on with example door designs, glazing units and hardware.
However, if you’re not local to Brigg, you can also book an online design consultation at a time that is convenient for you. Appointments are available seven days a week!
Stand out from the crowd
So what makes Endurance doors stand out from the rest? The 48mm solid timber core comprises 15 cross laminated layers of timber, which is sourced from a carbon neutral and sustainable source of Norwegian spruce.
They also use heat reflective foiled door skins which do not crack or fade, even when used in the most exposed facing entrances.
A further benefit of using foiled door skins is that they can offer perfectly matching door and frame sets to achieve the colour combinations you require. Finally, integrated into the foot of each Endurance door is their unique Moisture Barrier System.
This innovative in-house development completely protects the solid timber core from moisture ingress, preventing swelling and delamination.
The specialist staff at Endurance Doors have decades of combined experience. They know the importance of paying close attention to every customer and responding to their individual needs. You’ll get comprehensive information on any door, whether it’s from the Classic, Country, Urban or Avantal collection and leave the showroom with the perfect design together with the details of a trusted installer convenient to you.
Visit the showroom on Bridge Street in Brigg or call to book an appointment on 01652 340340 or arrange an online design consultation via www.endurancedoors.co.uk
QUALITY CARE FROM WILLOWS DENTAL
Based at Riverside Medical Surgery in Brigg, Willows Dental Practice is a well established private dental and cosmetic centre offering excellent quality treatments.
Using the latest technology in digital dentistry, the team of friendly, highly trained professionals who share more than 20 years’ experience, provide bespoke treatments tailored to each patient’s needs with the aim of providing ongoing five-star care.
By focusing on preventative dentistry with advice on dental hygiene through regular check-ups, this caring approach also aims to help to reduce the need for dental treatments.
Willows Dental also offers bespoke teeth whitening and Invisalign, the clear alternative to braces.
The surgery welcomes new patients with appointments and same-day emergency care also available.
For more information visit www.willowsdentalgroup.co.uk
RABBIT HOLE WINS TOP BOOK AWARD
The team at Brigg’s popular independent bookshop The Rabbit Hole say they are “immensely proud” to have been awarded Independent Bookshop of the Year 2023 for the Midlands Region at the British Book Awards.
“For a bookshop from a small market town to be recognised as one of the best five independent bookshops in the country is an incredible achievement,” says owner Nick Webb.
“Our passion for inspiring creativity and curating safe spaces for authors, poets and musicians continues to flourish, with the introduction of monthly Spoken Word Evenings, known as ‘Rabbiting On’ in 2023, our use of the Indie Market and other local events. We’ve established a network between locally based authors that has been hugely successful, with the self-named group, ‘Rabbit Writers’, supporting and championing one another.
“Have you visited us yet? From 0 to 99, we have something for all ages. Whether you’re an avid reader, music lover, or simply love to create, there is something in The Rabbit Hole for you.”
For more information find The Rabbit Hole on Facebook or www.therabbitholebrigg.com
BRIGG COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP PROMOTES TOWN
Working with community groups, local businesses, charities and local councils, The Brigg Community Partnership aims to help promote events and businesses in the market town. Originally named Brigg Town Business Partnership, it was formed in 2011 to support local independent traders; last year the group was changed to a charity with a new name.
The Brigg Community Partnership aims to safeguard the variety of local shops, uniting the views of the traders, while also promoting local events. The Love Brigg Arts & Craft Market is held on the secondSaturday of the month in the marketplace with free parking. New last year, the Brigg Food Festival, working with Brigg Live Arts, proved very successful; this year’s event will take place on 12th August from 11am-8pm. Working with St John’s Church, there will also be an Arts Festival in the church exhibiting work from local artists. The display will be open from 9.30am-2pm, from Thursday 10th to Saturday 12th August. Also, don’t miss the Love Brigg Arts & Craft Market Lincolnshire Market on 14th October.
For more information visit the Facebook page: Love Brigg The Brigg Community Partnership
Photographs: Mick Fox