NEW jobs are being created at Tamworth’s Ankerside Shopping Centre with the opening of new stores.
Ten staff have been recruited by gifts, books and craft company The Works, which was opened today (Nov 14) by 12-year-old Tamworth schoolgirl Grace Norris. In addition homeware firm Cargo will take on six staff when it starts trading on November 20.
Ankerside Shopping Centre manager Pete Barber said: “These new stores and new jobs are a double boost for the centre and for Tamworth as well.
“It helps to widen the range of goods that we have on sale here at Ankerside. Plus the new stores are right on cue for Christmas, as they will be stocking plenty of items that will make great presents for family and friends.
“The Works is also a great destination for stationery, books, cards and wrapping paper, plus crafts to keep youngsters occupied over the Christmas break. Cargo is full of contemporary homeware for inspired interior design.”
Grace won the honour of cutting the ribbon to formally open The Works new store following a social media competition.
The 12-year-old from Glascote, a pupil at Landau Forte Academy in Amington, wears two hearing aids, after being diagnosed deaf as a toddler.
She said: “I am very nervous and excited about being asked to open The Works. I like the shop because it has lots of books that I like to read, plus it has loads of art and crafts things to buy.”
Her mum Gemma added: “Grace used to go to Lichfield to visit The Works store there – they had books like Sign Language for Dummies which I used to help me learn it. Plus there were other story books about children with hearing aids.
“Grace gets frustrated about not being able to talk to people and so loves doing things with her hands, such as arts and crafts. The Works is perfect for this.”
Kevin Keaney chief executive of The Works, said: “The West Midlands is an important region for us, and we’re delighted to open another new in the area, here in Tamworth. We have had great success with our existing stores based in the region to date, and this new store will further demonstrate our commitment to this location.
“Tamworth – and Ankerside particularly – was selected due to its ever-increasing commercial potential and its proximity to the beautiful Tamworth Castle, which attracts out-of-towners and locals alike. We’re really excited about the positive effect the opening will have on the community.”
The 2,000sq ft store was previously an Adams children’s wear shop. The company, based in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, now has 300 stores across the UK.
The 3,500sq ft Cargo store, which opens on November 20, is in the former HMV branch. It stocks contemporary home furnishings, from sofas to tables and chairs, plus cushions and other interior design inspirations.
Dave Waring, Head of Retail, said: “At Cargo, we’re all about helping our customers to express themselves for less – and that’s why we’re pleased that from November 20 we can offer our range of stylish furniture and homewares to the residents of Tamworth.
“As part of our expansion plans across the UK, we spotted great growth opportunities in the town and we’re confident that there will be something for everyone at our brand new store, no matter what their style or budget. Plus with the festive season fast approaching, we’re helping customers get Christmas ready with glasses, tableware and decorations as well as gifts for all the family.”
Established in 1876 by J W Carpenter in Paddington, Cargo has over 130 years of history. It is now part of the Steinhoﬀ group, one of the world’s largest furniture and homeware retailers, which also owns Harvey’s and Bensons. Now based in Thame, Oxfordshire, it has more than 40 stores across southern England, with new ones recently opening in the Midlands.