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Story of two businesses . . . to be continued!

By Chris Austin

The economy on the Shropshire/Welsh border needs new blood to take it further, say the owners of two businesses.

Owners at both Caroline’s Wool Shop in Newtown and the Old Forge guest house in Knockin believe the  companies have many years left to serve the local people and visitors - but fresh ownership is needed to ensure they continue to be a success.

Both Helen and Fred Lloyd, who run the historic wool shop in Market Street, and Colin and Wendy Pearce, who have run the Old Forge for 15 years, have put their businesses on the market and are looking to retire.

The wool shop, set up by Helen’s sister and mum 50 years ago, has plenty of regular customers and visitors.

“It is a lovely shop, we love it here,” Helen said.

“We know our customers very well and it is a friendly environment to work in - with the feel good factor of being surrounded by good colours and wools too.

“I’ve been working here for more than 40 years and I still love it.

“It’s a great location, we have caravaners, people who come on holiday here year after year and our regular customers too.

“I think knitting skipped a generation but people are interested again now and there are young people who have taken up crocheting. We even get young men in here too.

“If I was 20 years younger I wouldn’t be selling.”

The shop hosts knitting events, keeps up to date with the latest trends and attends knitting shows.

There has been wool sold on the premises since WW2, with only three owners of the property since the 1800s.

“It is going to be difficult to leave but I am coming around to the idea. I want it to go into someone’s hands who will nurture it like I have,” she added.

The family business is up for sale for £35,000 and the three storey building for £230,000 (exclusive).

Meanwhile, Colin and Wendy Pearce are both in their 60s and are looking to spend more time with their family in Shrewsbury.

With three letting bedrooms, the Old Forge bed and breakfast also has a barn converted into a self catering holiday cottage. It has a 9.3 rating out of ten on Booking.com and hosts lots of wedding parties for nearby venues.

“We love the job and the area, it is very good business but it is the time of life where we want to use our rail cards. We just want fresh blood for it,” Colin said.

“The best thing is meeting so many people from all over the world - we have one family from Glasgow who have been back here 15 times and we’ve had guests from Australia, Vietnam, Cologne, Germany, Denver, Colorado, and many more places.

“There is so much to do around here and I enjoy telling guests about it - we get lots of thank yous and some lovely letters.”

In the winter the B&B is full of workers from local businesses and afar as well as families of local residents, the holiday barn is popular for family gatherings.

"It is a change of lifestyle business - perfect for someone who love to meet new people on a daily basis and take pride in their home," she added.

The property is up for sale for £599,950 (exclusive).

Both opportunities are being marketed by Halls Commercial and Rebecca Welch, from Halls, said they have had interest already.

She said: “Both businesses are in a great area and present really exciting and unique opportunities - we are looking forward to ensuring they can continue to serve their loyal customers.

“The local economy is thriving here. We offer a number of exciting opportunities for people and this is one example where an area has a lot to offer.

“We are eager to match the right person with the right company and anyone interested in finding out more should contact us.”


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