Shropshire Star

Retail shop is latest addition at historic estate – with more in pipeline

A historic property has been converted into a personalised gift shop to become the latest addition to a diverse range of businesses which have moved into Bradford Estates commercial premises.

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From left, Madry team Eve Renton, Marketing Manager, Sally Starkey, Store Manager and owner Kevin Paton-Feaver

The Old Village Stores, on Weston Bank, the A5, in Weston-under-Lizard has been updated for use by Madry, a retail business which sells commemorative military medals, personalised trophies and gifts as well as offering engraving and framing services.

The building, which dates back to the 1800s was originally a blacksmith's workshop or “smithy”, and then became a village shop, Weston Stores. Most recently it was a country clothing shop.

Madry owner Kevin Paton-Feaver wanted to locate his business in the well-known shop when it became available because of its prominence for passing traffic and the opportunity to attract visitors to nearby Weston Park.

Kevin’s other business interests include Empire Medals, a company offering Ministry of Defence licenced military and civilian medals and awards based in Queensway, Telford.

He contacted the Bradford Estates Office to take up the chance to give Empire Medals a prominent bricks and mortar retail site which would also allow him to showcase his other businesses including a popular personalised gifts business.

Kevin said: “Despite many predictions about the switch of retail to online, I could see a unique opportunity in moving into this landmark building as it has such a special character, it is close to Weston Park, which attracts visitors all year round, and there are an estimated 350,000 vehicles passing by each week on the A5.

“Working with the team at Bradford Estates we have been able to realise this great potential to offer a special experience for customers compared with so many anonymous retail units. They are now our neighbours and we are already building a strong partnership which we hope can grow by linking up with other businesses in their portfolio."

Asset Management Director Andrew Barrett of Bradford Estates, left, with Madry owner Kevin Paton-Feaver

Asset Management Director Andrew Barrett oversaw Madry’s arrival for Bradford Estates.

He said: ‘’As the property is in a conservation area, we have ensured the modernisation and improvement of the building was done in a sympathetic way. With a great track record in business, Kevin has huge energy and a clear vision of what he wanted to achieve which we have helped him to realise.

“Our aim is to build a local ecosystem, mixing new start-up companies along with more formal leases for longer term occupiers. Having a stock of available buildings means we can offer premises like Madry’s new home which can be refurbished to meet an occupier’s specific use requirements.”

The arrival of Madry is the latest in a run of new businesses which have moved into Bradford Estates premises, including a tech business, a growing florist company and a furniture manufacturer, with more arrivals in the pipeline for 2024.

Bradford Estates managing director Alexander Newport said: “We are pleased to welcome Madry to set up what we are sure will be a successful retail addition to our increasingly diverse range of occupiers within the Bradford Estates business community.

“We have had conversations with Kevin about the opportunities for Madry to link up with our flourishing ecosystem of companies here at Bradford Estates, which include services, retail, agricultural and tech businesses, and look forward to seeing more firms join us as we shape an exciting future together.”