A new pop-up shop has opened in Whitton high street, with an arts and craft store becoming the first tenants.

Whitton Artists Co-operative (Waco) is a venture set up by Sylvie Freullet, an artist from Whitton with her own studio and who works in a group with other local artists.

They have set up the shop at number 15 to exhibit and sell their work and are also running workshops to help with rent.

Ms Freullet said: “It has been my ambition to have a gallery and shop where artists can showcase and sell their work and inspire others to participate in workshops on the premises.

“I contacted the Whitton Business Association who loved the idea and have been amazing.

“They have supported us so much during these first weeks and I would really like to thank them for making the idea come alive.”

Whitton Business Association chairman Tony Yerby said: “This has been a long term project for us, we are proud to see the first Pop Up Whitton shop open for business.

“Empty shops are such a blight on the high street, some remaining unoccupied for many months, if not years.

“With the support of Richmond Council we have managed to bring an empty unit back into use and give a local business a chance to set up on the high street.”

The shop officially opened to the public on the evening of Tuesday, December 17.

Councillor Gareth Evans said: “Getting the landlord’s consent to secure a unit on a short-term basis is not easy, despite some real benefits, and we are very impressed that the Whitton Business Association have managed to do this as well as find a local business which is interested in setting up a shop and willing to pay the rent to do so.”

To become a tenant, email the Whitton town centre manager Bridget Clements on bridget.clements@whittontowncentre.co.uk.