Sad decision to close The Little Art Gallery in Broadstairs after 20 years of trade

Vicki has put 20 years of her life into running The Little Art Gallery

An art gallery will close the doors of its shop in Broadstairs at the end of January after 20 years in the town.

The Little Art Gallery, in Eldon Place, has been run by Vicki Griggs and a fellow artist since 2004 but a combination of challenges, including a drop in footfall, the lack of free parking and continuous road closures, have forced the difficult decision to close.

Vicki will keep the online shop and continue teaching, exhibitions and her popular paint and Prosecco parties but says it has become unviable to keep the property open.

Mum-of-two Vicki said: “It was a hard decision to make. I’m absolutely gutted because I put my heart and soul into it but we had to make the decision.

“Footfall has dropped off massively since covid and another thing affecting lots of shops is the constant road closures without adequate signage to say businesses are still open. There is also no free parking so if people have to pay a fortune to park that is going to mean a drop in footfall too.

“I think quite a few shops have closed and over Christmas it was the worst I have seen it, the whole of Broadstairs was so quiet. It’s really sad and after 20 years we are quite upset as it becomes such a part of your life. Maybe we will open somewhere different in the future.

“Being in that little corner is lovely but it is seasonal and hard to get people to walk up there (in winter) and they shut the footpath twice a little while ago with no signs again.

“We would have stayed if we could get another couple of artists. We both love our little shop but it needs a collective to make it work.

“If you do not use us, you lose us and this is what’s happening with independent shops, it just becomes impossible to keep going.”

Despite the shop closure Vicki says there will be plenty of activity to come as the business takes a new direction including a venture with memorial jewellery made of ashes and set in fused glass for pendants.

Vicki said: “There’s a tiny pinch of ashes fused in glass and they look like little galaxies. Pendants are £55 with 925 silver and it can be for pets or people.”

Some items will also be sold from the new Coastal Creatives shop in the town.

Vicki added: “We are moving everything online and will continue teaching. We will be doing exhibitions and I will be doing my painting and Prosecco parties. People will be able to get hold of us on the website and we will still be around doing things in the community.

“You never know what might happen in the future if things change. I don’t want to close and I’m still holding out for a miracle.”

The shop will trade for the last time on January 30th and until then all items will be on sale and everything must go.

Find The Little Art Gallery online here or call Vicki on 07817116007


    • Did really good trade with tourists in the summer. Duh, skint people aren’t going out buying art, Captain Obvious.

  1. Yes, sad news.I always think it is a loss when the public has less access to art, I am sure you will agree.
    The see saw of the economy post covid. A cost of living crisis, where ‘like to have’ products fall away when money is tight.Poor signage by utilities contractors and the lack of oversight by KCC Highways over their activities are all reasons to reduce footfall.
    Parking charges are often a complaint, but bearing in mind that compared to the cost of buying a car, and its fuel, the cost of parking is a small part of a car’s running costs. We must all accept that local govt is in a cost of living crisis itself, caused by govt under funding over the last 14 years, and parking charges are part of that under funding

    • Town parking charges are a lack of foresight by TDC. If they were free, then more people would visit the shops – and far fewer would be empty. I spent a few days in Cranbrook (about the size of Broadstairs) a few months back, and they have three public car parks – ALL of them free!

  2. If Vicki is reading this, has she considered opening a shop in Birchington? Plenty of footfall here, and there’s nothing similar to compete with (the old card shop in Station Road – same side as the two Co-Ops – would be ideal).

  3. Unless you’re a betting/phone cover/pound/kebab shop in a non affluent area, you are more likely to have low footfall. Only those that own the freehold of these hard to reach shop units in affluent towns had any chance of scraping a profit post COVID.

    • I wouldn’t call Broadstairs a “non affluent area”. This isn’t Dane Valley or Newington, hence so many good thriving restaurants.

  4. Of course-because it is a Thanet art shop that actually has & sells proper art. It is never going to get any help like the stick men doodlers, the stick random things on walls grifters & the pile junk up on the floor brigade-who get millions of taxpayer money thrown at them every year/rich benefactors to bail their debt ridden premises out of closure do.

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