A new bridal shop has benefited from a Test Valley Borough Council Independent Retailer Grant after occupying a unit that had been vacant for many months in Andover town centre.
After spotting a gap in the bridal market, Lindy Darmanin opened the doors to her new shop back in April 2019. Having looked for a wedding dress for herself at the time, Lindy was attracted to a Southampton company but thought Andover needed a local wedding dress shop.
The shop was formally known as Lulu’s in Waterloo Court, but had been empty for some time until Lindy took it over earlier this year.
Lindy said: “I’m very excited to see what the next few months hold in the heart of Andover. I run a catering business on Walworth Business Park, so I knew how supportive the council would be in helping me get this new venture off the ground.”
St Mary’s ward councillor, Iris Andersen, said: “Lindy has shown fantastic initiative in getting this off the ground off the back of her own experience. She already has many links around the borough so I’m certain this will be a success and I wish her all the very best!”
Those who qualify for the £1,000 grant receive first £500 after three months of trading and six months later they receive another £500.
To qualify for the grant, new or existing autonomous enterprises must occupy a ground floor town centre unit that has been vacant for at least one month.
Companies that qualify include shops, restaurants and cafes. As a result of the Council’s prudent investments, financial management, and use of the New Homes Bonus, these funds have become accessible.