NEWCASTLE’s High Bridge is looking good with the addition of a new boutique optician and eyewear store with a local entrepreneur at the helm.

Owned and operated by Tim Harwood, CrossEyes Newcastle is the result of an £80,000 investment creating three jobs initially – with potential further employment opportunities in the near future.

The 37-year-old, who lives in Heaton, spent 13 years working as an optician for some of the high streets’ leading names but was keen to bring CrossEyes’ bespoke approach to eyewear and optometry to the North East, setting his sights on High Bridge’s thriving independent business scene.

A company with stores globally including 14 in the UK, CrossEyes prides itself on offering affordable fashion and high quality spectacles, with each of its frames designed and made in Denmark.

As well as selling glasses and sunglasses, the store also offers eye tests using high specification technology, carried out by Tim. The pricing approach is kept as transparent as possible with all frames set at the same price as well as an eye test included, with varied add-on costs graded depending on the prescription of the lenses.

Tim said: “Having worked in the industry for over a decade and falling in love with Newcastle after first moving here, I wanted to use my experience to open an opticians of my own in the city. CrossEyes’ unique concept as a boutique brand with a flexible service really called out to me.

“Getting your eyes tested and picking some glasses should be an enjoyable experience rather than a chore or another boring appointment; and our aim is to make this happen. In my new set-up, I get to be part of the whole customer journey from the eye test through to helping to select a style of frame that is just right for each individual, giving them as much time as they need in a relaxed environment.”

Stephen Patterson, Director of Communications at NE1 Ltd said: “The High Bridge Quarter is a great hub for diverse retail and leisure operators and it is wonderful to see CrossEyes moving into the city and adding to the mix. The brand brings its own distinct personality to Newcastle which has been so successful elsewhere in the UK – we look forward to ‘seeing’ it do well in the Quarter.”

Tim added: “I’m pleased to have been able to recruit two members of staff from the off who I’ll train and mentor, with scope for a larger team as I may look to roll out the CrossEyes model beyond Newcastle, in the North East. It’s been great to see the positive reaction we’ve had from customers so far and we’re excited for what’s to come.”

CrossEyes Newcastle is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 9.30am to 5.30pm, Thursday from 9.30am to 6.30pm and Saturday from 10.30am to 5pm.