Sad­ness as pop­u­lar

Evening Times - - NEWS - BY CA­TRI­ONA STEWART

AN award-win­ning so­cial en­ter­prise is be­ing forced to close its shop front af­ter a strug­gle to se­cure fund­ing. The bright blue fa­cade of Rags To Riches is a fa­mil­iar sight to any­one who vis­its Vic­to­ria Road.

But bosses have an­nounced the store will shut on Fe­bru­ary 1 – a real blow to the re­de­vel­op­ment of the South Side area.

Re­tail man­ager Clare Docherty said the move has come due to a mix­ture of is­sues, in­clud­ing the dif­fi­culty of find­ing funds and high rent.

Clare said: “We are a so­cial en­ter­prise so we rely on ex­ter­nal fund­ing and that has been very hard to come by in the past year.

“It is a real shame be­cause we have not been here very long.

“What we do here is ab­so­lutely amaz­ing but we can’t go on.

“We are all really sad about it as it is really nice to show­case so many local artists – we stock nearly 30 free­lance de­sign­ers and mak­ers.”

Rags To Riches is part of Go­van­hill Baths Com­mu­nity Trust, a group in charge of re­fur­bish­ing Go­van­hill Baths as a health and well-be­ing cen­tre.

The trust said it prefers to pay de­cent wages for staff, rather than rely on vol­un­teer labour, but the cost of rent, util­i­ties and salaries has be­come too much to cover.

The shop will now move on­line to the trust’s web­site.

But, un­til Fe­bru­ary 1, there will be a 20% off the sale of all Rags to Riches and Go­van­hill Baths Com­mu­nity Trust prod­ucts.

And Rags to Riches So­cial En­ter­prise will be con­tin­u­ing with out­reach ac­tiv­i­ties and work­shops at The Deep End on Niths­dale Street.

Clare said: “We will still be go­ing ahead as usual in The Deep End

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