UK ‘holiday hotspot’ shop owner earns 0.026p an hour after first sale in 14 months

Stuart Broadhurst has made his first sale in 14 months (Image: Triangle News)

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A shop owner is celebrating after getting his first customer for over 14 months due to the pandemic – meaning he has earned 0.026p per hour.

Stuart Broadhurst runs a pottery business on the remote island of Orkney, Scotland.

The 63-year-old relies on passing tourist trade which has been non-existent due to Covid-19 lockdowns.

But he finally had his first shopper come into his gift shop who bought one of his teapots for £75.

The sale means that over the last year and two months without a customer, Stuart has been earning 0.026p per hour.

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Stuart has not been getting a lot of passing trade
(Image: Triangle News)

The master potter has put in 50 hours a week in his workshop totalling 2,800 hours during that time.

Stunned Stuart said: "It was quite weird I was so used to having nobody here.

"Ninety per cent of my business was passing trade. Then a husband and wife who were on holiday came in last week.

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"And I thought 'Who was this?' They asked to look around.

"Then I realised I had no card machine and they said they had cash but I had no change in the till.

"They bought a teapot."

Now he has managed to flog a teapot
(Image: Triangle News)

The businessman set up Stuart Broadhurst Ceramics in Penrith, Cumbria in 2001 with £5 and five bags of clay.

He used to turn over £150,000 per year and get up to 15 customers a day before the pandemic.

Stuart then moved up to Orkney four years ago, but due to a cancer battle was unable to open his new shop there until January 2020.

He struggled to get Government support during the pandemic because he hadn't paid National Insurance contributions due to his ill health.

Stuart added: "I was told to close down during lockdown.

Orkney is quite cut off from the rest of the UK
(Image: Triangle News)

"I don't know how we survived it.

"I was diagnosed with cancer in 2017. I had a massive operation and recuperation so couldn't work for three years.

"Hence no books for the three years prior to Covid. I restarted the business two months before Covid, but I couldn't get a grant from our council as I hadn't been paying business rate nor NI contributions.

"The basic message was I didn't qualify.

"I couldn't furlough myself."

Stuart explained his reaction after he sold the green teapot to his first customer in over a year.

"I feel like celebrating," he said.

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"They must have thought me mad until I explained.

"I just worked out my hourly rate based on a 50 hour week – I actually do more.

"But it works out as 0.026 pence per hour.

"This does not, of course, account for materials and overheads."

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