Entrepreneurs fully invested in council’s £1 shops programme

Jayne Hayter, Cllr Nick Small, Derry Boorman

In a new take on the familiar ‘pound shops’, Liverpool City Council has unveiled the latest entrepreneurs to benefit from its own £1 shops scheme.

The initiative is a variation on the council’s Homes for a Pound programme.

Like the homeowners, the successful applicants have to carry out repairs and refurbishment themselves and must have finance in place.

Tenants will pay £1 a year in rent for the first three years, with a capped commercial rate for the following two.

The council set the terms of the scheme by setting out that each proposal must be for a new, commercial business and cannot compete with an existing business in the neighbourhood.

Gambling establishments, fast food takeaways, tanning salons, off licences/pubs and pay day loan shops were also not permitted, but bids for community cafes and healthy takeaways will be considered.

Cllr Nick Small, cabinet member for economy and growth, said: “Shops and businesses are a vital and integral part of a successful local community.

“The £1 shop scheme has been about giving people with great ideas and a solid business plan the chance to get their venture off the ground, without having to worry about rental costs in the first three years.

“We didn’t want to disadvantage existing local businesses, so the ideas couldn’t duplicate what’s already on offer, and we didn’t want more shops selling services linked to fast food, gambling, pay day loans, alcohol or tanning.”

Two young entrepreneurs have taken advantage of the scheme to open their ventures on Smithdown Road.

Jayne Hayter, who previously worked on the road for 10 years in the Old Bank, is returning to open her shop ‘In Loving Memory Of’ – specialising in providing services for bereaved families – at the end of August.

Two doors away, Derry Boorman, who graduated with a photography degree at Liverpool Hope University 10 years ago this summer, is set to open her first studio in the autumn.

The pair have received their keys and will join three other £1 shops – a beauty salon, fashion store and an Italian cafe – on a previously vacant row of units once earmarked for demolition.

Derry said: “It’s always been a dream of mine to eventually own a studio space – but I never in a million years thought it would happen like this. Being handed the keys felt like a dream.

“I kept the news close to my chest for months, only telling close family and friends until I had the keys in my hand, as it all felt so surreal. It’s been great to finally tell everyone the big news, and I’ve had a lot of love and support so far.”

She added: “I have big plans for this space, with a substantial focus on commercial/product photography and content creation to help get small businesses off the ground, as well as wedding portraiture, headshots, individual and family shoots, and social media focused shoots.

“I’d love to host workshops for all ages to bring out the creative side of our community. Liverpool has always been extremely proud of their creatives, and it would be great to utilise the space as somewhere where individuals can learn and experiment with like-minded people. I’m really interested in hosting creative events, and getting everyone involved.”

Jayne’s shop will provide bespoke services to the bereaved, including grave maintenance and care, memorial accessories, floral tributes and sympathy cards.

She said: “The idea first came to me through my own family experiences. Moving through bereavement can be truly painful but I found spending time at the cemetery caring for the family memorial helped me find some comfort and peace.

“As a family we still wanted to find ways to express our love, to recognise birthdays and anniversaries and love is best expressed in giving. I came to realise that these little acts of love helped with the feelings of sadness.

“But there didn’t seem to be a place that catered for people’s needs under one roof and I thought that might have potential to be a business.”

Jayne added: “Going down the £1 shop route was an easy decision for me, firstly because it means a return to Smithdown where I feel at home, and also because of the strong sense of community in the neighbourhood and those involved in the regeneration project.”

Cllr Nick Small said: “I’m delighted for Jayne and Derry. They’re both local, each with a unique offer and their new businesses will be great additions to the growing offer on Smithdown Road which is fast becoming a vibrant retail hub.”