Independents boost street

Paul Scrimshaw, who runs Marilyn and Melrose, outside the shop on Narrowgate.
Paul Scrimshaw, who runs Marilyn and Melrose, outside the shop on Narrowgate.

A shopping street in Alnwick has been given a regeneration boost as empty shops have been filled with independent businesses to add to its offering.

Four independent businesses have taken up space in properties on Narrowgate, in the town’s Castle Quarter.

The move is also a further boost to the regeneration of Alnwick as a whole.

Marilyn & Melrose, a vintage interiors and gift store, has taken a five-year lease on a 1,692 sq ft unit at number 12.

Meanwhile, three other retailers – crafts firm Ruby Tuesday, boutique fashion firm Regram Runway and outdoor pursuits specialist The Wild Sheep Company – have also demonstrated their commitment to the market town by taking new leases on 8, 10 and 14 Narrowgate respectively.

The deals came after chartered surveyors Bradley Hall took over the properties from Northumberland Estates and kick-started a campaign to market them to prospective tenants.

The move was particularly timely for Paul and Karen Scrimshaw, the owners of Marilyn & Melrose, who had to move their business to Narrowgate from Bow Alley after the partial collapse of the wall at Oscar’s Bar triggered the temporary, but long-term, closure of the alley.

Initially they took a short-term lease with Northumberland Estates before agreeing a five-year extension when Bradley Hall took over the property.

Karen said: “After taking on the temporary lease at Narrowgate, we found that we were more visible to prospective customers.

“We were delighted to sign a long-term lease on the premises, which is now our primary retail operation.

“Bradley Hall guided us through the process and it was completed without any hiccups. Now we’re in a great position as our business is more visible to passers-by in the Castle Quarter, which is well populated with unique, independent businesses.”

l For more on new business Ruby Tuesday, which opened this week, see Page 71.