Craft boom fuels growth

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A Belper crafts business is set to expand after moving into larger premises and staging a grand opening for customers old and new.

Crafts Cornucopia, which opened in May last year, has relocated from first floor premises at King Street to take over the former home of Claire’s Beads shop on the same street.

The firm is also looking at the possibility of taking on more staff and is extending its opening from three-and-a-half days to five.

Its growth comes as recent figures show the craft industry now employs more than 88,000 people and contributes £3 billion to the UK economy each year, which is greater than the Visual Arts, Cultural Heritage or Literature sectors.

Loyal shoppers who have helped to secure Cornucopia’s growth came together for a relaunch complete with cava and special discounts on Saturday, April 5.

Co-owner Claire Ward said: “It’s very exciting. I have moved from doing this part-time to full-time.

“There is growth in the industry and there does seem to be a market for people wanting to learn different types of craft.

“It is a bigger investment for us to move into the new shop but we have had so many positive comments and are finding people are interested and positive about what we are doing and that has spurred us on to really go for it.

“The old upstairs premises were difficult for people including those with buggies and we wanted to have the place all on one level.”

Craft workshops, craft Parties and personal and group tuition for adults and children in everything from patchwork to cross-stitch has helped the shop expand.

Mrs Ward, who runs the shop with husband Richard continued: “We started off doing workshops and were asked about selling supplies and our regular customers have really helped us to establish ourselves.

“The move will enable us to stock a greater range of wool and craft supplies, and to expand our current range of workshops and regular groups, such as kids’ clubs and knit and natter events.

“We had a great celebration to mark the new opening and are really looking forward to the future.”

Latest figures showed the craft sector is dominated by micro-businesses and self-employment, with 87 per cent of businesses known to be sole traders.

Crafts Coruncopia is now open from Tuesday to Saturday. View the shop’s website,, for further details.