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5,000 visitors pick Skipton craft hall for a visit
More than 5,000 people visited Handpicked Hall in Skipton during its first weekend.
So successful has it been that owner Anthony Blackburn is bringing forward the opening of the warehouse extension of the project to next month.
Handpicked Hall, in the former Co-op next to the bus station, opened on Friday with around 60 traders selling crafts, food and vintage clothes.
From next month, empty warehouse space next to the Leeds-Liverpool Canal will be used for workshops open to the public to view and buy.
On Friday, when Handpicked Hall opened, 2,000 people visited, with a further 2,500 going along on Saturday, and 650 on Mothering Sunday, traditionally a quiet day for shopping.
Mr Blackburn said: “We had a fantastic launch and have had nothing but positive feedback.
“We’ve already started to develop a great team spirit in the same way that Handpicked Hall at Ripon did, with everyone becoming the best of friends, sharing experiences and becoming another Handpicked Hall family.”
On Sunday, a potter showed children how to make something for their mothers.
The premises are open every day except Monday and there are still stalls vacant on Tuesdays and Sundays.
A couple of small businesses who had signed up have decided not to continue but the flexible nature of the project has meant others will fill the gap.
“On those days where the space is not full of retailers we can create exhibition spaces. That is the beauty of it,” added Mr Blackburn. Two retailers who started at Handpicked Hall in Ripon have now taken up space and employed people to work in Skipton, including one who repairs musical instruments, from grand pianos to violins.
As yet, access to Handpicked Hall is only from the bus station but once the rest of the premises, which stretch back to Swadford Street, are open, people will be able to walk from one side to the other.
The rest of the building is to be occupied by the department store Boyes and Intershape Fitness.