Banner photo for the news story 'Celebrating 30 Years'

The Art Studio, now based on Upper Castle Street, first opened its doors in New Buildings in May 1989.

Lovingly run by Rose Allinson, the business went from strength to strength, moving into its new premises in March 2001 before opening up the Ten2 Gallery, as well as The Art Cafe, which is run by Linda Flower.

Rose said that she is proud of the business and that their biggest achievement was “creating an arts hub Hinckley should be proud of."

To celebrate the 30th birthday, Rose and Linda held a private viewing of their Contained Within exhibition, treating guests to cupcakes, balloons and banners.

Rose said: "In May 1989 I opened the doors of The Art Studio at 11 New Buildings. Situated above Commtech, the electrical repair shop, the £3000 I had spent on stock didn't stretch very far, but it was a start, and since that day I've seen a lot of changes to high streets and how people shop.

"At that time there must have been hundreds of art shops scattered around the country. Now very few exist, and I am pleased to still be here in Hinckley.

"When I first opened the shop I was greatly supported by my mother and father, Barbara and Don Allinson. They looked after the shop, initially when I continued with supply teaching, and then when I went back to Birmingham to gain my Masters Degree in Jewellery and Silversmithing.

"In 2001 we made the decision to move into upper Castle Street, and as part of the lease, had to rent the upstairs space as well. Prior to that, Lynn's Deli had been on this site…it was two years later that Linda decided to give up her full time job and concentrate on the business full time, opening up The Art Cafe.”

Fans of the venue can soon expect lots of exciting new exhibitions, as well as collaborations with the borough council and Hinckley BID.

There will also be more classes and workshops coming up, as well as further quizzes and psychic nights.

Rose added: "With any business, to survive you have to diversify, and what started off as a small art shop, with a few pictures and jewellery, now has become, I feel, an arts hub that Hinckley should be proud of.

"Not only do we offer the art materials, pictures and jewellery, we have giftware, bespoke picture framing and mount cutting, run 14 classes a week with short courses and Saturday Workshops, regularly have quizzes and psychic nights, exhibitions and competitions, and have our wonderful Art Teas (served on a 'palette' with a 'tube' of jam).

"We can offer bespoke tailored courses, one to one tuition, group events and are always open to ideas and suggestions.

"Thirty years on, 11 New Buildings seems a long time ago, and will I still be here in another 30?- let's hope so, although I may not be running up the stairs quite so quickly!"