Slough’s small businesses have been given the chance to compete with high street shops this Christmas as an empty unit in the shopping centre has been revamped into a mini market.

The empty shop in Queensmere, opposite where H&M used to trade from, has been revived into a base for local artists to make their own.

It was set up by social enterprise Craft Coop who worked with Slough Borough Council and the shopping centre to make it into a reality.

Deborah Jones, one of the two directors of the non-profit idea, said: “It’s a great way of supporting crafts people who would never be able to afford to set up in a high street shop usually.

“At the same time we use empty shops in town, so it helps with rejuvenating the high street.

“It’s a whole bunch of win wins.”

The idea has already worked in Maidenhead and High Wycombe – where similar shops started as a pop-up but have now been going for more than eight years.

Ms Jones added: “They are all local people, who make their stuff on the kitchen table.

“The businesses are all from Slough and nearby so it’s amazing.

“We also suggest that all of the crafts people work in the shop so that they can speak to the customers who come in and can meet them and see them working.

“And because there are all in there together, they can talk about other crafts people’s stuff too.

“It’s all about making a community and support network for the people and giving back to Slough.

“It’s really about building a community.”

So far there are 21 businesses inside the shop, but there is still space for more to join in before the Christmas shopping rush.

She explained: “At the moment we have a candlemaker, artists, a metal artist who makes birds out of old forks and spoons, a bath bomb maker and somebody who makes crochet clothing.

“It’s a really special Christmas gifting shop.

“People keep saying that the high street is dying, but we say that the high street is changing.

“You can buy anything run of the mill online, but if you want to buy something unique you have to go into the high street and the shops – and that’s the niche that we are filling.”

There is still space inside the shop for small businesses to claim, those interested should email

The shop is open from Monday to Saturday 10am to 5.30pm and Sunday 11am to 5pm.