PRESTON’S iconic former Post Office has been transformed for major event celebrating the best of British design, fashion and manufacturing.
Best of Britannia North is now under way in the city centre.
It kicked off yesterday with a preview for the media ahead of the official opening at 5pm.
The showcase, which is spread over two floors in the landmark building, will run today and tomorrow.
The aim of the event is to showcase British companies that design and/or manufacture in the UK including art, fashion, jewellery, home ware and food and drink.
Renowned designer and BOB’s non-executive director Wayne Hemingway, from Morecambe, described the showcase as being like a ‘mini Guild’ and described Lancashire as being a ‘making economy’.
There’s too much focus on London all the time, it’s nice when something can come back here. I love Preston, it’s great to come up here and be part of it.Wayne Hemingway
He said: “These events have done very well in London.
“There’s too much focus on London all the time, it’s nice when something can come back here. I love Preston, it’s great to come up here and be part of it.
“The organisers of Best of Britannia are brave doing this but I think it will work for them and be supported.”
Stall holders include businesses from Lancashire and much further afield.
The event is usually held in London and after its success there organisers wanted to bring it to the north.
Exhibitors included footwear business Joseph Cheaney & Sons, from Northamptonshire. The firm has been making shoes in England since 1886 and prices start at £300.
Martin Grey of the firm said: “We have done the BoB in London three times and when they asked if we wanted to come here we said yes. London has been successful for us.
“There is life outside of the south, there’s areas of the country that have quite a lot of disposable income and we want to tap into that.”
Preston-based Big Mill also has a stall. Michael Green said: “We are just launching here at this event, it’s a whole mix of different art, design and crafts. This is about putting Big Mill in the minds of people.”
Exhibitors also include UCLan and Creative Lancashire.