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Historic village welcomes new business following unique barn restoration project

PUBLISHED: 15:28 07 September 2019 | UPDATED: 22:13 08 September 2019

Avocet Antiques has opened a shop at the newly-reburbished Church Farms Barns in Heydon. Picture: Avocet Antiques

Avocet Antiques has opened a shop at the newly-reburbished Church Farms Barns in Heydon. Picture: Avocet Antiques

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A new shop has opened in one of Norfolk's most historic villages following a project to convert a Grade II-listed barn.

Heydon village forms part of the Heydon Conservation Area and is widely known for its unspoiled beauty. Picture: Avocet AntiquesHeydon village forms part of the Heydon Conservation Area and is widely known for its unspoiled beauty. Picture: Avocet Antiques

Avocet Antiques has begun welcoming customers to its retail space at the recently re-built Church Farm Barns in the conservation village of Heydon, near Reepham.

Restoration of the barn had been on the agenda for several years and was finally completed in 2018 with the help of a grant from the EU LEADER programme.

Avocet has moved into one of four new business and retail units to be let by the Heydon Estate, joining The Earle Arms public house, the award-winning Heydon Tea Rooms and Husk Bakery.

Other tenants at the site include floral design brand The Wallflower & Wallace, as well as modernist interior designers Moochi Modo.

Phil Royle, who set up Avocet alongside his wife, Bonnie, said: "We are thrilled to be open and part of the thriving, unique and charming rural Norfolk community of Heydon.

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"This is a brand new, exciting adventure for us as a family business - a long-standing dream that's finally become a reality.

"We aren't antiques experts, just enormously passionate about old furniture and offering people a greener, cooler, more sustainable and interesting way to design their home interiors.

"We have sourced some really interesting and useful pieces that we love and we are sure our customers will too. Hopefully people who come to Heydon pop in and find something interesting to take home with them."

A spokesman for Heydon Estate added: "The Heydon Estate is excited to welcome Avocet Antiques to one of the brand new units at Church Farm Barns, and wishes Phil and Bonnie Royle every success with their new business."

Conversion of the barn, which lies in the centre of Heydon, was designed to provide a much-needed employment space in the village and make use of an asset with significant potential.

Later this year, beauticians The Beauty Barn and a hair salon will join the mix at Church Farm Barns, with one of the units still to be let.

- Visit the Heydon Estate website to find out more about the village.

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