Retailer plans to close Peterborough store and move online

Dawn Birch-James, director of Art in the Heart.
Dawn Birch-James, director of Art in the Heart.
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A retailer has announced plans to close her Peterborough store but has vowed to go on by trading online.

Art in the Heart, in Westgate Arcade, in the Queensgate shopping centre, will start a closing down sale tomorrow (Thursday).

Art in the Heart, in Westgate Arcade.

Art in the Heart, in Westgate Arcade.

Dawn Birch-James, director, said the closure of the five-year-old business, which will happen on January 31, was due to changes in her personal circumstances.

“Unfortunately my personal circumstances are changing very substantially in 2018 and I shall no longer be available in the same way.

She said: “We shall be very sad to close but Art in the Heart has been a resounding success.”

The business is said to have generated more than £250,000 net revenue for the local creative industry

She added: “Art in the Heart will continue but in a different format. Our energies will be devoted to the exciting online shop The Art in the Heart Marketplace www.artintheheart.co.uk/marketplace We already have 36 artists and makers selling from it but we need many more.”

She added: “No one could be sadder than I of course, as aspiration on the high street through this gallery, was my concept and for five years I worked very long hours most days to keep it viable, fresh and exciting. Others have put a huge amount of time in voluntarily too.”

The business is said to have generated more than £250,000 net revenue for the local creative industry and raised money for a number of local charities.

Mark Broadhead, director of Queensgate, said: “We are very sorry to learn that Art in the Heart will be leaving Westgate Arcade due to personal reasons.

“Dawn has shown how an independent business with the right offering and mindset can thrive in the centre of Peterborough; they’re a wonderful success story and inspiration to others.”

Art in the Heart first opened in Bridge Street in 2012 and moved to Westgate Arcade in July 2016.

The artists and makers who sold from the store were nearly all of national and some of international standing.

It is reckoned that Art in the Heart offered about 100 work experience places for school and college students over its five years.