09/05/22: Not Just Books - a community form or storytelling

A Thetford bookstore has developed an inclusive community space with the help of a business start-up grant from Breckland Council.

Opened in October 2020, 'Not Just Books' is an independent bookstore located on Riverside Walk, in the heart of Thetford.

As the name states, the store does not just provide books but develops fun and innovative ways to bring storytelling into the community. With help from a £4,805 grant from Breckland Council, the space above the bookshop, known as 'The Den', has been renovated to create a large, open space equipped with a kitchenette, tables and chairs and a large screen to enable hybrid meetings.

It is enabling customers within the community to enjoy storytelling in its many forms, whether that's through words, actions, or game play. The space supplies a range of activities from Reynard's Book clubs to fantasy card games as well as children's events and book launches.

It begins another chapter in the story of the bookshop, which was recently named Caboodles Bookshop of the month, a coveted prize amongst many independent book sellers, just 16 months after opening.

Jane James, owner of Not Just Books commented: "I read a publication recently that described independent bookstores as 'place makers', as they aren't just a retail experience but a personal experience. Ever since we first saw this place, we were drawn to the potential of the upstairs den area and the grant from Breckland Council opened up this vision."

Cllr Paul Claussen, Breckland Council's Executive Member for Economic Growth and Development said: "It is fantastic to see local independent stores thriving in our towns and villages. The Breckland Start Up Grant gives new businesses the helping hand they might need to reach their full potential. Local retailers are such an important part of our community, providing a lifeline, supportive and social atmosphere for so many."

Cllr Roy Brame, Ward Member for Thetford Castle, added, "It's great to see local businesses in Thetford flourishing, Not Just Books is a great example of this. Thetford is a thriving community and it's lovely to see the town and local amenities used by people of all ages."

To find out more about what grants your business could be eligible for, visit Business Finance.

Last updated: 18/05/2022 14:23:17