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Wincanton high street emporium to open by Easter

By Western Gazette - North Dorset  |  Posted: January 05, 2013

Tracey Seager plans to open The Purple Poppy Emporium by Easter

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A DETERMINED trader in Wincanton has vowed to resurrect her dream of opening a high street emporium in 2013.

Tracey Seager’s hopes to open The Purple Poppy Emporium in time for Christmas failed after she struggled to secure a lease.

However, despite missing the window of opportunity to attract pre-Christmas trade, she has now set her sights on bringing the project back to life by Easter.

She said: “Now Christmas is out of the way I am looking to reopen negotiations.

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“I am hoping to get a one-year lease to get it up and running as quickly as possible - Wincanton is still crying out for something like this.

“There wasn’t a lot I could do before Christmas. I just can’t believe how hard it was to get someone to give you a property to use.

“We just seem to have more and more empty shops in the town, and I’m desperate to do my bit to get Wincanton rocking again.”

Ms Seager, of Balsam Fields, unsuccessfully tried to negotiate a lease for the former Co-operative store site on High Street, while talks to take over three units at the back of Applegarth Arcade failed.

The 45-year-old also tried to secure a lease at the former Green Dragon pub, but said the owner wants to sell the building and could not give her a temporary lease until Christmas.

She is hoping to reopen negotiations with the former Co-operative in the next few weeks.

A spokesman for The Co-operative said they would be willing to look at Ms Seager’s ideas for the site.

A statement said: “The Co-operative is committed to supporting the local communities in which it operates, and Tracey Seager is welcome to put forward her own new proposals with our agent.”

The entrepreneur has been seeking to set up the emporium, which would act as an “incubation centre” for 40 local businesses, since July.

It would also include a tearoom and marquee at the back to host craft fairs, holistic therapy groups and specialist workshops.

A similar project in Yeovil has proved so successful that it expanded into neighbouring premises eight months after it opened in July 2011.

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