The Creative Studio Middleton opens

Date published: 28 February 2020

A new business venture has opened in Middleton Shopping Centre after Tracey Williams won a competition to win a shop.

Located on the first floor next to WHSmith’s, The Creative Studio Middleton is a workshop space where people can experience creating a high-quality branded craft activity as part of a drop in or scheduled workshop activity. 

Customers can also purchase craft activities, either as packaged crafts or branded The Creative Studio Middleton produced crafts.

It is planned that the facility will have both drop in times, as well as targeted sessions throughout the week which will be available for a wide variety of groups – two years and upwards; after school groups; holiday time workshops; groups with disabilities; the retired generation; specialist ‘more in depth’ workshops and evening and weekend sessions for working people.

To start with, Tracey is specialising in sand art and paint-a-pot, with prices from £3 to £4 as well as promoting her party packages and autism sessions (starting early March)

The core of the business will be focused on children’s workshops and parties although there will also be adult sessions and child and adult sessions where they can create together.

To get the ball rolling, Tracey has been doing drop in sessions over this half term with ‘pay on the day’ and, closer to Easter, will be organising more planned events.

Tracey has been a qualified arts college lecturer for 20 years. In 2018, Tracey set up her craft activity company called Sand Art with Tracey and is an independent consultant for this company.

Tracey lives in Alkrington with her husband, Barrie and two children, Reilly, eight, and Archie, six. In her spare time, she enjoys arts and crafts as well as worldwide travelling.

“I was very shocked when I heard that I had won,” said Tracey, “and am so excited to now be open and in time for the half term.”

Tracey’s prize means that, for a year, she can trade in the centre - rent, rates and service charge free - and will also have access to a range of local retail experts who are on hand to offer business advice from merchandising to business banking.


Tracey Williams with Maddison, Jessica and Holly


Tracey’s “Win a Shop” business plan was shortlisted by a panel of judges – Dan Coyne from Cup & Kitchen, Elaine Simons from EJS Marketing, Anna Ramsden from Middleton Shopping Centre, Victoria Davies from Middleton Town Centre Management and Andrew Bradwell from Rochdale Borough Council before presenting her retail ideas in a 'Dragon's Den' style pitch. 

Councillor Donna Williams, Chair of Middleton Township, said: “I would like to congratulate Tracey on winning this fantastic prize and encourage visitors to the town centre to go have a look at The Creative Studio. I wish her new business lots of success.”

“We are thrilled to be able to give Tracey this opportunity,” added Marie Gribben, Manager of the Middleton Shopping Centre. 

“We wish her every success with this venture and welcome this new creative facility for both our younger and not so young shoppers.”

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