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The pop-up shops preventing a village from becoming 'dead' zone

The bags start at £42, and each one takes three days to make. "During a good week at a pop-up, I can sell 10 bags," says Warnes, who usually offers her wares for sale at craft fares and via her online shop.

"The great thing about having an actual shop is that I don't have to take everything down at the end of the day - the way you do with a stall. And I only live 12 miles away in Fakenham, so it's easy for me to get to the shop."

Alison Priestley, founder of Ruff Tumble, makes towelling dog coats that can dry a wet pet in half an hour. As the owner of four dogs, she came up with the idea after struggling to keep her soggy pets off the furniture.

"They love going into the sea and I was permanently trying to dry them," she says.

Priestley ran three pop-ups in 2014 at Dalegate Market and will operate two more this year. "Lots of people are on holiday with their dogs so they buy our coats to protect their hotel room or caravan or holiday home from wet, smelly dogs," she says. "Being this close to the sea is perfect."

During a week in a Dalegate pop-up, sales will rise as much as 100pc, she says, and the pop-up also drives online sales in the following weeks. "People tell their friends or the coats are spotted on dogs, and that is fantastic."

Jason Borthwick, 43, a fourth-generation farmer on neighbouring Deepdale Farm, introduced retail innovations to the village in 2000 to help diversify away from arable farming.

"When I started helping my dad on the farm, 99pc of our revenues came from traditional farming. Our TV screens seem to be full of adverts from lawyers imploring us to claim for each and every mishap, it seems that there is no such thing as an accident in this day and age. Somebody can be blamed and they must be made to pay!. With this in mind, it would surely be a very brave (or maybe foolish) small business owner who made the decision that public liability insurance wasn't necessary. Clicking on the following link will answer your questions on Do I Need Public Liability Insurance?.Now it's more like 50pc," he says.

The pop-up beach huts in Dalegate Market have been built on the site of an old garage and workshop. "My dad had sold the garage on because we didn't want to be running a petrol forecourt," he explains.

"But when the owner decided to sell up, we saw an opportunity to buy the land back."

Housing developers were planning to turn the land into executive homes for City workers seeking a country pad. "This place is known as Chelsea-on-Sea," says Borthwick. "We need more second homes like a hole in the head."

The village of Burnham Deepdale is home to just 30 residents year-round, but the population rises to 200 once the second-home-owners arrive during holidays.

"We wanted to make sure that we had a shop where locals could buy bread and milk, and we introduced a campsite and backpackers' hostel to attract tourists," says Borthwick, who is intent on building an entrepreneurial ecosystem where all businesses create more revenue for their neighbours.

The local supermarket, Leftley's, is a family business operated through the Nisa franchise, which allows the shop to sell competitively-priced staples alongside produce from the local area.

"We wouldn't let a pop-up come in that would take revenue from the supermarket," says Borthwick. "But if, say, there was an artisan chocolate maker, that's a different proposition from ordinary confectionery and we'd love that."

Over the summer, the village will play host to a range of "retail theatre" companies, Borthwick says. "There will be chainsaw carvers coming later in the year and makers that run workshops - Black Cat Buttons recently did one on making your own button box."

The annual Christmas market, which has been running for seven years, has been a resounding success for Burnham Deepdale, attracting visitors from all over the country to its 100-plus stalls.

Borthwick hopes that the summer pop-ups will help to bring in revenue during the rest of the year.

"People are already coming back each week to find out what's new," he says. "You walk down a high street and it's all the same shops. By inviting these small artisans and independent retailers, we're giving people something different."

The shops are not run for profit - the spaces cost between £50 and £150 for the week, depending on the time of year. "It's about giving this place exposure," says Borthwick. "We don't want to become just another dead village."


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