Art lovers are being sought for a once-in-a-lifetime business opportunity
IMAGINE opening a coffee shop in a beautiful Yorkshire town – and having a ready-made bank of enthusiastic customers keen to enjoy the additional attraction of high-end art.
That’s the case with the Nigel Cooke Gallery in Holmfirth, which is on the market after artist Nigel decided he needed more studio space than the existing unit afforded him.
It is thought that the gallery, being marketed through Leeds-based agent Ernest Wilson, would suit a partial change of use, keeping the art displayed on the walls, but operating as a coffee shop or gift shop at the same time.
Nigel, who is originally from Mirfield, is one of the top-selling artists in his genre. He specialises in fine art cityscapes including scenes of London, Paris and New York and only sells originals either through his own gallery or in galleries the length and breadth of the UK.
His contacts in the art world mean that the Holmfirth gallery will have access to items on a sale or return basis via some of the country’s leading dealers – offering a risk-free sideline to anyone taking on the gallery as a business.
“I have my paintings mounted and framed each month – all originals, we don’t make prints – so there will always be new pieces coming through, plus work from other artists through my connections within the art world, so there is excellent scope for someone to make a go of a new business with the art as an added extra.”
Nigel works with two other artists and is currently looking for much larger premises from which to produce his work, which is always in demand. Over the past 18 months, he’s seen a growing number of visitors who are simply intrigued by the sight of the artists at work, who enter the gallery when normally they would pass straight by.
Nigel said: “People don’t always feel comfortable going into small galleries, they feel a bit intimidated. Because people can see us working it’s become more inviting somehow and people just drop in to see what we are doing. That’s why I think changing the use and having art on the walls when people come in for other reasons makes good business sense.
“The art world is changing and smaller independent galleries are thriving either because they offer something more, or because they have a good online presence. We’ve never bothered much with the website because we don’t have to, but that’s another side of the business that could be developed.”
The gallery is being marketed by Ernest Wilson, the leading business sales agent, based in Leeds. Established in 1956, Ernest Wilson assists clients with the purchase and sale of businesses, offering agency services, finance options and support throughout the sale process.