A Northampton pop-up shop will close this weekend after rent increases and funding cuts have made it no longer sustainable.
The Made in Northamptonshire (MIN) shop in St Giles Street in Northampton will close on Saturday, less than five months after opening in September 2013.
This is due to funding withdrawal from a number of sources, meaning its owners will no longer be able to afford the rent, due to increase by £250 per month.
Run in association with social enterprise group Action Support (UK), MIN and neighbouring antiques and craft shop Antiquities, it aimed to provide marginalised and vulnerable people from the county with practical skills to guide them back into the workplace. This is achieved through building and agricultural work in the garden, as well as work on the shop floor and in administration.
MIN also provides a space for more than 50 local artists and artisans to showcase and sell their own work.
However, since its opening, Action Support has already had to make five paid staff members redundant and is concerned that closing MIN will create another wasted empty retail unit.
MIN and Antiquities managing director, Sue Armstrong, said: “We are disappointed that we cannot continue in both shops and develop what we have started, but we do believe that Antiquities can be a bigger and better shop and we hope that the majority of artists from MIN will move across with us.”
A MIN regular said: “Things were really happening at MIN. It offered genuine encouragement of local talent – a place where you really feel valued.”