Nottingham Dragon’s Den winners are announced

dragonsTwo business owners have won the keys to shops in the Broadmarsh Centre after competing in a Dragon’s Den style competition.

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The winners of the Inspiring Retail competition set up by Nottingham City Council will receive a rent free store unit in the shopping centre for 12-18 months as well as a £5,000 cheque.

Heidi Hargreves of Dukki Design and Gareth Warne and Joel Bond of Ice Cream and Dreams are the two winning business after they pitched their ideas to the retail panel of ‘dragons’ on Friday.

Dukki Design will sell gifts and merchandise related to the heritage of Nottingham with mugs, coasters, cushions and cards featuring common local slogans like “ay up me duck.”

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Ice Cream and Dreams will bring a 1950s style ice cream parlour to the shopping centre and will sell brownies, muffins, donuts, coffee and, of course, ice cream.

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Owner of Dukki Designs, Miss Hargreves, said of the competition:

“It was very nerve-wracking but I enjoyed it, they were a lovely group of people and they really encouraged me. It was a great experience.

“I’ve worked in retail before but this will be a totally different experience, but it is a challenge I’m prepared to face, it will be great.”

The two business will take up units in the Broadmarsh Centre’s upper mall and will be renamed Pop-Up Broadmarsh.

Following retail pioneer Mary Portas’ review of town centres, the Inspiring Retail initiative is funded by the High Street Innovation Fund which has been given to several towns and cities across the country.

The company which owns the centre, Intu, is investing around £60,000 in the scheme by providing the free unit spaces for independent businesses.

General manager of the Broadmarsh Centre, Adam Tamsett, said: “Nottingham already has a great history of independent retail, so we really want to build on that strength.

“Independent retail does have a place in shopping centres and it’s something we are looking to embrace long term.”

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