The latest business to open in Oldham’s Independent Quarter is already beginning to feeling right at home.
Furniture by Lauren recently started trading at 46/48 Yorkshire Street, at the junction of Waterloo Street, in the town centre – breathing new life into the former Kiss Bar.
Gavin and Lauren Howarth, who run the small family business, specialise in made-to-measure sofas but also sell a full range of accessories which will help turn any dwelling into a home.
Between them the Royton couple has worked in the furniture trade for more than 30 years and say that experience enables them to provide customers with well-known brands and bespoke made furniture at competitive prices.
Gavin said: “We chose Oldham for our first retail premises because we are Oldham born and bred and still live locally.
“We wanted to support our local town and are excited by the efforts the council are making trying to improve and regenerate the town centre.
Lauren added: “We want to bring style, quality but also value for money to the people of Oldham.”
Before the business moved into the premises they had been empty for a number of years.
Oldham Council acquired the building and carried out a full refurbishment, transforming the interior and exterior of a period building.
Councillor Jean Stretton, Leader of Oldham Council, said: “We’re pleased to welcome Lauren and Gavin to the Independent Quarter.
“They are a local couple who are willing to invest their money and are just the type of high end business we want to see in the Independent Quarter. They could have chosen to go elsewhere but have put their faith in the town centre and we hope people will support them and but local.
“We want more businesses to come into the town centre, whether they are looking at occupying a council or privately owned building, and we’ll help you every step of the way.”
Since the Independent Quarter initiative was launched in 2013 a number of traders have already moved or relocated into new premises after receiving support.
The initial focus is to support businesses in the Independent Quarter in the triangle between Yorkshire Street, Clegg Street and Union Street East.