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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Come and visit the shopping centre right on your doorstep in Old Skelmersdale

Sandy Lane Shopping Centre is a great place to work, shop and visit in the heart of Old Skelmersdale.

People of all ages flocked to the centre over the summer to enjoy exciting activities as part of the ‘Get Creative at Sandy Lane’ programme. The final event of the summer was the highly successful vintage and handmade fair in September, which drew big crowds to the centre and created a real buzz of community spirit.

The arts activities continue with The Big Draw on Saturday 1 November at Unit 63 at Sandy Lane Shopping Centre. Families can come along and work with artist Angie Thompson to create a spectacular piece of artwork.

The Friends of Sandy Lane inaugural meeting was held at Unit 63 at Sandy Lane Shopping Centre on Wednesday 29 October. If you were unable to attend and want to get involved with future ideas and developments for the Sandy Lane Centre please call Jenni Ashcroft on 01695 571328.

A number of businesses have opened up there over the last 12 months and ply their trade alongside many long-established businesses serving the people of Old Skelmersdale.

These include Rowlands Pharmacy, the Market Gate pub, the Post Office, and Heyes Opticians. West Lancashire Borough Council manages the parade and its housing teams are also based there.

West Lancashire Borough Council is working with partners on a scheme to make the centre a more inviting place and attract more shoppers. Consultation events have been held over the last few months and more information will be available soon.

Councillor David Sudworth, portfolio holder for Leisure, said: “Sandy Lane Shopping Centre is a very important part of the Old Skelmersdale community. Many people have enjoyed the events we have had there over the summer and we’ve had positive feedback from traders about how successful these events were.”

Councillor David Westley, Leader of West Lancashire Borough Council and portfolio holder for Regeneration, said: “The shopping centre’s retail units are full and the traders provide a great service to local people. We are planning some improvements for the centre which will help make it even better.”

Teresa Allmark proprietor of Raffles Hair design has run her business for 37 years but has also worked in the centre for a total of 41 years, and is currently the longest serving tenant of the Sandy lane shopping centre. 

Commenting on her achievement Teresa said: “It seems like only yesterday that I started working here, we have a very loyal clientele and they have become more like family and friends, there are customers who have been visiting the salon for 41 years including several generations of the same families.

“I have appreciated all the support from my loyal customers and my staff past & present and hope to continue trading at Sandy lane for many years to come, where I have always enjoyed working in a happy and friendly environment.”

When asked her thoughts about the consultation activity programme over the summer she said: “It added new life into Sandy Lane the Vintage market was a great success the centre was buzzing with people”

Susan Tittle runs Baker Chick Bakery, one of the newest businesses to open up at the Sandy Lane centre.

The Bakery first opened its doors in May and serves a great selection of cakes in the shop as well as making cakes for every occasion, including weddings, birthdays and christenings.

Susan said: “I have lived in the area all my life and when I was setting up the business I chose Sandy Lane because I wanted to be based in the local area. I have had a great reception from shoppers coming to the centre who have said it’s good for the area to have a business like the one I have opened.”

Coffee and gift shop Bella Uno is run by Victoria Moradi and her husband Sam. They have been open for about a year.

Victoria said: “We were looking for somewhere to start a business in West Lancashire and my brother-in-law Neil Heyes runs Heyes Opticians. So when a unit became available at Sandy Lane Shopping Centre we were happy to take it. There is a great community spirit amongst the traders and shoppers at the centre. Business is beginning to pick up for us now and a lot of customers have said it’s great to have a place in the area to meet people and have a coffee.”

The Council has refurbished a number of offices on the first floor of the Sandy Lane Centre and some are still available. More information can be found at business or alternatively the Estates team can be contacted on 01695 712617. There is ample free parking at the Centre which makes it accessible and convenient to customers.

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