It's a Bizaar way of encouraging business – but it works!
The new Bizaar Quarter at Leeds's Kirkgate Market has seen the opening of its first stall.
The Plum Tree will be selling the wares of local designers, as well as offering the chance to have bespoke items made.
The store was opened on Saturday with a grand launch party attended by
Shameless and Emmerdale star Kelly Hollis.
Following on from the market's How Bizaar stall which gives people with a business idea the chance to test it out, the Bizaar Quarter helps them even further by moving into units at affordable rents for 12 weeks.
The Plum Tree is selling items from Lily Bloom who make hats and fascinators, aroma greeting cards and other products from Inner Vision, bespoke jewellery pieces from Lisa Jane's Hidden Gems, the George and Lilly felt collection, clothing and lingerie from Ages of Elegance and reclaimed jewellery from Lady Bea's Vintage Hive.
The Bizaar Quarter, funded by Sharing the Success, the city's Local Enterprise Growth Initiative, has eight stalls and its launch last month featured demonstrations by traders who have benefited from the How Bizaar stall. Leeds Central MP Hilary Benn cut the ribbon to open the Bizaar Quarter.
A spokesperson for the initiative said: "What became evident over the last year of How Bizaar was that, after the 12-week trial period, many potential stallholders were struggling to make the leap to fully fledged businesses or market traders having had no experience of paying rent or managing their overheads.
"The Bizaar Quarter will give traders a taste of this and, by offering financial and commercial support every step of the way. Sharing the Success and the Leeds Kirkgate Market team are bringing the final goal of a sustainable business closer to reality for the prospective stallholders."
Simon Brereton, programme manager for Sharing the Success, added: "The Bizaar Quarter will continue the fantastic work that has already been done to open up the market to new traders selling their own products.
"By working with these entrepreneurs and encouraging them to take things slowly and gradually, we will enable the next generation of stallholders to take root in this historic market."
Coun Richard Lewis, executive member for development, said of the Bizaar Quarter's opening: "It is a fantastic addition to the market and running alongside How Bizaar will allow more budding businesses the opportunity to bring new and eclectic product ranges to the market."