Two new businesses have moved into the latest kiosks installed in Market Lane as part of the regeneration of Wickford.

All About Alice and Gem’s Tasty Cakes officially opened to the public earlier this month. All About Alice specialises in bouquets, artificial flower displays, balloons and handmade gifts. Gem’s Tasty Cakes offers customers homemade cupcakes in a variety of flavours and celebration cakes made to order.

Gemma Mcalden, owner of Gem’s Tasty Cakes, said: “I had been running my cake business from my home in Basildon for about a year when the advert for the kiosks popped up on Twitter. The rent is really affordable and there are no business rates to worry about so it is perfect for businesses that are starting out.

“I didn’t want there to be too much pressure on me to make money because the whole reason I got into this is because I just love baking and decorating cakes, but the kiosk is really manageable. It has been a whole lifestyle change for me but it is definitely worth it.

“The response from the community has been brilliant with everyone saying this is just what Wickford needs. My cakes have gone down very well, with chocolate and carrot cake being the most popular flavours so far.”

Watsons Wigs began leasing the first of Basildon Council’s kiosks in December 2017.

As part of the regeneration of Wickford the market has been moved into Market Lane and the High Street, with improvements carried out to the street scene, several shopfronts and Wickford Swim and Fitness Centre. A new £2million state-of-the-art health facility was officially unveiled in July 2017.