Thriving firm set to bring a new touch of craft to town

Store manager Claire Birkett and Kelly Leyland at Carole's Crafts, Spalding.
Store manager Claire Birkett and Kelly Leyland at Carole's Crafts, Spalding.
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A former Royal Navy officer is taking advantage of the boom in hand-made crafts by setting up shop in Spalding.

Alan Dunn, owner of Carole’s Crafts, has taken over the former Fun Junction toy shop in Swan Street.

About 27,000 items for knitting, card making, quilting, embroidery and other craft hobbies are in stock at the shop which opened on Friday and Alan claims that another 300,000 are available to customers by mail order.

He said: “We have something for everybody, from children to 100-year-olds, and there isn’t a craft item around that we can’t get from our American partners.

“We’re the largest supplier of craft items to TV shopping channels in Europe and we generate business wherever we go because the interest in crafts is so big.”

Carole’s Crafts already has a store at Baytree Nurseries Garden Centre, Weston, but the chance to come to Spalding came after store manager Claire Birkett walked past the new shop which had been empty since June.

She said: “I thought this might be a good place for us to be, so I mentioned it to Alan and we came to have a good look round on Remembrance Sunday.

“People have been saying ‘we’re so pleased you’re in town’ which is a big boost for us.”

Government figures show that the craft industry has a turnover in England alone of almost £11 billion and adds £4.4 billion a year to the UK economy.

Claire said: “Crafting is one of the nicest things you can be in because it’s very sociable and very friendly.”