THE owner of a business centre in Crewkerne says it is bucking the trend in difficult economic times.

Anthony Bucke started An-tique Bazaar in South Street 18 months ago in a bid to turn around the fortunes of business in Crewkerne and bring people into the town.

Now, more than 60 independent traders are part of the collaborative trading scheme and Mr Bucke says they are attracting tourists from across the country.

He told the News: “I know how difficult it is to become established as a business but here we are all traders who sell similar products and we all work together.

“We have bucked the trend because we work together, share our ideas and also share our overheads and the responsibility to make the centre a success.

“We are getting more and more traders coming along, so we are expanding, and there seems to be a winning formula, so we are not going to change anything – the more the merrier.”

The centre, a former textile mill, specialises in antiques, retro, crafts and vintage products.

Customers can use an Antiques Trail – a map of other businesses outside the centre and across Crewkerne that sell similar products – which Mr Bucke said has helped to spread business around the town.

He added: “I hope that we have made a positive contribution to visitor numbers in Crewkerne since we opened.

“We have been successful because we have our own car park and such a variety all under one roof because my traders are particularly innovative and determined.

“They surprise me daily with their fresh ideas, it is quite inspirational.”