A NEW shop in a Yorkshire Dales village is offering artists, designers and makers a fresh outlet in which to display and sell their creations.

Gingerbugs and Co has made its home in what was once the local branch of Barclays Bank, in The Square, Ingleton. It is a partnership between two Ingleton-based friends, the artist Clare Tyas and bag maker Steph Hughes.

The shop, which was officially opened by Ingleton Gala Queen Caitlin Ellershaw, sells a collection of gifts, souvenirs and homewares made by more than 40 artists, designers and makers from within the village, surrounding Dales and beyond.

“As an artist and a maker ourselves, we know how hard it is for small-scale creative businesses to get their work ‘out there’, and we wanted to give talented people an opportunity to sell their creations,” said Clare. “Our shop gives locals and visitors to the Dales a chance to buy something different and unique, made by a real person, rather than something that has been mass produced.

“Many of our suppliers are based within around 20 miles of the shop, with others located elsewhere in Yorkshire, Cumbria and Lancashire. A few are from further afield, but are people we know and who’s work we admire.”

Steph said: “There is a real revival in people wanting to buy items made locally, using skill and care. Buying locally keeps money in the local economy, supporting local makers and artists directly.

"We know many of our makers personally, and can tell customers the stories behind what they do. That has to be better than buying something that’s been made in a factory on the other side of the world, where the money goes to a faceless corporation."

Steph and Clare both live in Ingleton with their families and are proud that their business has revived a building that had been empty for three years.

“We’ve had such a positive response from both visitors and locals alike,” said Steph. “People are really happy to see the building back in use, and to see new start-ups like ours joining well-established businesses and attractions in this village, which is such a wonderful place to visit, live and work. We hope this positive activity encourages more people to shop locally in Ingleton.”

Clare started sketching and painting as a youngster, inspired by the Dales countryside and animals. Trading as Ginger Art, her intricate watercolours capture the spirit and charm of the area’s scenery and creatures with which she is surrounded. Her work covers a diverse range of other subjects including buildings, landscapes, streets and town life.

Steph, who has worked as a freshwater biologist and a landscape architect, rediscovered her love of sewing while making clothes for her then-baby daughter. She moved into the village two years ago, from Stainforth, near Settle, with her partner and their two children. While she still occasionally creates children’s clothes using up-cycled fabrics, she now hand-crafts handbags, appliquéd garments and other items under the name Whirligigs – a reminder of her days as a freshwater biologist.