A YORK-based social enterprise which provides specialist support for adults with learning difficulties has relocated its pop-up shop in the city.

The Blueberry Academy’s pop-up venture, where people with learning difficulties can improve their skills for employment and independence, has moved from Goodramgate to Piccadilly.

The academy says City of York Council has offered the location for up to five months at reduced rent while the premises is empty.

‘Blueberry Pop-up Shop’ sells handmade items made by learners and workers from The Blueberry Academy, stock from the Disabled Workers Co-operative and crafts from Brunswick Organic Nursery.

The new location provides 21 individuals with work placements.

To celebrate the success of the Blueberry pop-up project, there will be a Festive Shopping Evening at the new premises on December 13, from 6.30am to 8.30am, with drinks and festive nibbles provided.

Speaking about the new location, senior Blueberry worker Ronnie Milner explained: "It’s a very good location, because it is in the town centre, the sales are better and we have had a good response from the public. It has been a success up to now. We would like everyone to come to our event at Piccadilly, it will be a good fun night, and a social evening.“

Shop manager Angela Taylor added: "We are pleased to be part of the move to bring vibrancy and interest to empty shops in York. We have had excellent feedback from customers who are impressed with the skills of our workers and learners."

The Blueberry Academy is keen to collaborate with and support the other independent pop-up shops in York, and has promoted Fabrication on Coney Street, Blank Canvas on Blake Street and Choc Affair on Bootham on social media.

Angela Taylor said: "We hope that landlords will see that pop up shops add value to the city centre whilst presenting properties in a positive way for potential long-term tenants. Some letting agents are reluctant to consider short term tenancies, I hope that will change so that the city centre can regain its busy shopping areas.”

The academy aims to to promote employability and independence through tailored learning programmes and accessing real opportunities in the community and workplace. Its guiding principle is ‘to prepare for a meaningful adult life, full of involvement and self-achievement’.

Its main site is The Melbourne Centre, on Escrick Street.