ONE of Skipton's youngest businesswomen is celebrating her first month as a trader in the town - and the realisation of a dream she has had from a very early age.

Eighteen-year-old Megan Sunley has just set up her florist's shop - Lotus Flowers Floral Designs in Craven Court.

And the former pupil of West Craven High Technology College, Barnoldswick, says she's really pleased she chose Skipton as the place to start selling her "bespoke flowers for everyday occasions".

Megan, of Salterforth, explained: "It's gone really well so far - there's been a lot of interest from customers, which has really pleased me. This is a dream come true for me - I was interested in art and design and the outdoors from a very early age. I always chose specific options in school which would fit my career interest."

At Craven College, Megan gained a diploma in floristry and then did a Royal Horticultural Society course in practical horticulture - and is thought to be the youngest person ever to complete the course.

She then set up her own business running flower and plant market stalls in Barnoldswick and Gisburn, before deciding to start up in Skipton.

And Lotus Flowers is very much a family affair. Dad Ian, director of a building firm, does the deliveries, while mum Eloise makes all the preserves which Megan also sells in the shop. The company will deliver flowers within a 15-mile radius of Skipton and can send international orders with iflorist.

Megan said: "I have had such a lot of help from my family and they have worked very hard to get the business off to a good start. My ambition is to one day own a chain of shops, and I'd love to teach flower courses. I'm confident I can make it happen!"