Wigan art firm putting people in the picture with move
A Wigan art business is hoping to be in the frame for greater public awareness after moving to a more visible location.
Wigan Picture Framing Company and Art Gallery has just opened its new premises on Standishgate on the other side of Swinley from its previous site on the first floor above Bar Legion.
Other news: Wigan school remains tight-lipped after two SEN pupils were 'left alone' in the car park by staff memberWinston Higham says the main advantage of the new location is the ability to create a striking window display and allow pedestrians going by to see straight in and look at what it does.
As well as being able to fit a huge range of prints and artworks into frames it also has a gallery of pieces by local artists now also enjoying being able to be seen much more easily.
The firm has been offering its services again to the general public for around 18 months, having previously worked for trade clients for decades.
Mr Higham said: “There is a lot better access, especially disabled access. We can now get wheelchairs and prams in easily. At the old place mums didn’t like leaving prams downstairs and then carrying their babies upstairs.
“Having a window display also allows us to show off what we do, whereas before we didn’t have any sort of frontage to tell people what we are about.
“So far it has all been very positive but the proof will be in the sales. The past 18 months or so has all been a big learning curve for us, going back to dealing with the general public after spending a lot of time just doing trade work.”
Mr Higham says people find their way to the framing company for everything from finding a solution for sports clubs to display notable shirts to allowing tourists to show off their artistic holiday purchases at home.
The gallery also shows off some of Wigan’s cultural talent, with the business already having strong links with the Swinley Art Group.
The new location on Standishgate is next to a hair, nail and beauty treatment salon and a beer shop, and Mr Higham says he is pleased to be in an area with lots of independent businesses thriving.
He said: “It’s a good location with the three of us there. Standishgate is getting a lot better and there are also places like the cafe and ice cream parlour on Wigan Lane.
“We get people nipping in as they walk past us while going for a cup of coffee or an ice cream.
“We weren’t going to open on Sundays but I think we will because so many people were looking through the windows on Sundays when we were working on it or the electricians were in.
“People have been saying they would have had to go to the Lake District to get some of the things we stock. The reaction has been that they have seen these items on holiday but not bought them as they have been worried about transporting them home.
“Not everybody wants to buy things online. They can come in here and look at things, touch and feel them, or ask us questions.”