A Teesside arts and crafts shop is preparing to move out of its premises after ten years.
The tenancy for Percy Middlesbrough is coming to an end, with the shop successfully negotiating extra time so they can prepare to find a new permanent home. The shop is run by a group of volunteers, who collect a variety of items and go by the motto “don’t throw it away, use it another way.”
The volunteers describe Percy Middlesbrough as a “big Blue Peter shop” that takes in items that other businesses throw away. The volunteers at the center, which is located in the South Bank, say Percy closing for good would be a “huge loss to the community.”
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Laura Hood, 27, a volunteer at Percy Middlesbrough, said she is relieved the center has more time to find a new home: “It’s been a very stressful week. We’ve been ripping out the heart and soul of Percy’s because we didn ‘t know what was going on. There’s been a sense of urgency with selling everything, and we’ve let things go when we probably wouldn’t of if we had the option – we just had to do it. “
This week, the store has been selling off items at half price, as there was initially no confirmation of a temporary contract extension.
Laura said Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston visited and got involved: “Andy Preston visited yesterday – we reached out to him and he’s been helping us, he spoke to the landlord on our behalf and took the reigns. The landlord has agreed to a three-month extension, and we’re now just waiting for written confirmation of that. “
Laura, who lives in Linthorpe, said she is relieved after an incredibly stressful week: “We’ve got the opportunity where we can just come up with a plan of action and speak to people about helping us. We are going to have a discussion. about the next steps – we now have the time to look for the best place available.
“We have people coming from all over the North East to access our resources. There’s nothing else like us within the whole proximity of the area so we have a huge range of people who come from all over. It would be a significant loss.”
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