THE Beacon is delighted to confirm Natural Baby Box will be opening at the shopping centre after being confirmed as the inaugural winner of the ‘Grow at The Beacon’ initiative.

Local entrepreneur Hannah Puttock, the owner of the brand, has signed an initial 12-month lease at the shopping centre and will begin trading in the coming months.

Natural Baby Box is a premium gift box brand specialising in developmental products for babies and toddlers up to three years old. The boxes support the early years foundation and are designed to encourage learning through play and to also further support the bond between baby and parent.

Each box contains up to nine full-size products, which are carefully curated by Hannah to ensure they are ethically made, sustainable and with many also having organic credentials.

The store will not only carry baby products, toys and clothing but will be somewhere that parents can receive advice and guidance around their purchases, with support and demonstrations around choosing the right products as their baby grows.

From 45 applicants, Natural Baby Box made a final shortlist of nine and was invited to deliver a presentation about its business concept last month to Andrew Rice, fund manager at Legal & General – owner of the shopping centre – as well as The Beacon’s centre manager Bill Plumridge, marketing manager Hayley Atkinson and PR manager Tim Cobb.

Hannah scored highly across the board for her business’ social values, social media and web presence, customer base, business model and future potential.

The initiative launched back in January, providing small business owners and local entrepreneurs the opportunity to secure retail space at The Beacon, completely free for a year, following on from its refurbishment to provide a more stylish and modern shopping environment in the heart of the town centre.

Bill Plumridge says he is delighted to be welcoming Natural Baby Box to The Beacon: “We had so many excellent and high-quality submissions for ‘Grow at The Beacon’ during the application process and we were incredibly impressed by the quality of the response, with Hannah’s outstanding application catching our attention immediately.

“The Beacon and Legal & General are passionate and committed to supporting our community and to have the opportunity to work with such an exciting local business such as Natural Baby Box is brilliant news.

“There’s no question that it will bring something completely different to the shopping centre. Natural Baby Box delivers a real high-quality product that I think our local shoppers are going to love just as much as we do. We cannot wait for the store to open and would like to wish Hannah every success at The Beacon.”

Hannah Puttock added: “I am beyond excited for this outstanding opportunity. I cannot wait to bring Natural Baby Box to The Beacon and be able to support families with our product offering and in-store advice.

“Our aim is to evolve the way that our customers experience retail; Natural Baby Box will be a place where our customers will receive so much more than simply purchasing products. We hope to guide new families toward ethical purchase choices such as organic products, organic clothing, open-ended play, and wooden toys and avoiding single-use plastic wherever possible. I am looking forward to meeting all our customers face to face very soon.”

The Beacon can also confirm that it will be working with a number of other business concepts that applied for the initiative, with further details of this to be confirmed in due course.