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Keele University Science and Business Park - Start-up Business of the Year Award.

Keele University Science and Business Park - Start-up Business of the Year Award.

Barewall, an art shop and gallery based in Stoke on Trent, are the proud winners of The Sentinel's Start up of the Year Award, sponsored by the team here at Keele University Science & Business Park.

In its first year, Burslem-based Barewall helped them sell more than £55,000 worth of their works, a figure topping £10,000 a month by the end of 2011.

More than 2,500 works have been promoted through the gallery, helping put more money in the local creative community's pockets. From the start, its founders Amanda Bromley and Paula Millward have been investing in a venture which sells everything from original paintings and prints to art pottery and ceramics, while providing exhibition space, too.

Now in its second year, the business is successfully expanding its cyberspace shopfront, drawing in visitors and prospective buyers from ever-further afield.

The emerging Barewall brand is helping promote Stoke-on-Trent through the quality of the collectable works it showcases.

A £15,000 investment, together with a Townscape Heritage Initiative grant, has gone into turning an under-used old pottery workshop into a flexible gallery and exhibition space.

Completed last July, the extension has already hosted six well-attended events including collectors' days, previews and county-wide showcases.

Amanda Bromley said: "We were delighted to be finalists so to win is out of this world. We're so thankful to all our customers and the artists we showcase – this award is really a reflection of the quality of the work they are producing."

Caroline Mairs, Head of KUSBP commented: "It's always fantastic to see small businesses win awards such as these.  At Keele we are committed to ensuring small businesses have their place in the world of business through schemes such as The Nova Centre, and the support we provide all the businesses based here."

Filed under: Business News Posted at 09:58

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