New toy shop could move into empty store – creating new jobs in market town

A new toy design shop could be heading for Church Street at the former Neals Estate Agents outlet. P

A new toy design shop could be heading for Church Street at the former Neals Estate Agents outlet. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS - Credit: Archant

Owners of a handmade toy company have submitted proposals for a new shop in Woodbridge – with the applicants hoping to breathe new life into a former estate agents.

Plans to alter internal and external parts of the Grade 2 listed building have been submitted to mak

Plans to alter internal and external parts of the Grade 2 listed building have been submitted to make way for Ferrars Design. Picture: COURTESY OF EAST SUFFOLK COUNCIL PLANNING APPLICATION DEPT. - Credit: Archant

The store, in Church Street, has been empty since the end of 2018 - and now a company making handmade toys is hoping to set up shop in the Grade II listed building.

Ferrar Design was established in 2011 by Kerry Ferrar - and she has run the firm from her home in Great Glemham for the last eight years.

But now, due to business growth, she needs to expand to a wider area and a more commercial setting.

Her plan is to alter internal and external parts of the structure including demolition of the 1950s staircase - but she has assured residents that the renovations will have no significant impact on the heritage value of the property.


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Ms Ferrar plans to create a consulting space for meetings and workshops and for new product launches, using Fairtrade organic materials to make her artisan soft fabric toys.

Her designs are hand crafted by a strong network of makers in Woodbridge, Orford, Framlingham and Felixstowe and the designs have previously been available to purchase from Vanil, the Scandinavia-inspired shop, also situated in Church Street.

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Originally set up as a graphic design business, Ferrar Design now creates its own products.

If the plans are given the green light, the new outlet will generate four job vacancies - two full-time, and two part-time positions.

In a statement, Ms Ferrar, said: "The opportunity to move the business to 26 Church Street is the natural next step for us as a business.

"Our ambition is to convert the building back into not only a home for our family but also retail and office space to support our growing business.

"We feel that this would provide the perfect balance between the original configuration of the building as a house with retail space and its subsequent commercial use after it was converted by the Neals in 1959.

"We would like to return the building to its original splendour and contribute to the ambition to continue to breathe life back into Church Street."

The proposals will go before East Suffolk Council's planning committee in due course.

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