Chichester District Council’s Pop-Up Shop initiative is now welcoming applications from budding entrepreneurs and start-up businesses at any time throughout the year.
Previously, applications opened for certain periods of the year and had to be submitted by a specific deadline. Under the relaunched scheme, businesses can submit their application for a temporary pop-up shop space in Chichester city centre at any time, making it easier for them to register their interest.
The initiative enables local entrepreneurs and small businesses to trade in a high street location without the commitment or cost of a longer-term lease. As part of the scheme, people can apply to rent a council-owned shop in Crane Street, Chichester, for a minimum of four weeks and a maximum of eight weeks, giving them the chance to engage with customers and launch products and services. The retail unit costs £75 per week, plus VAT, which also covers rates and utility bills.
Eligible applicants will be assessed as and when they are submitted, and selection will be on a first come, first served basis with accepted applicants being placed on a waiting list.
Griffin Designs, which offers personalised printing to clothing and soft toys, is one of the local businesses that has benefitted from the initiative in the past. Owner Karen Griffin says: “It was a fantastic learning curve for our team and the experience has definitely changed our plans for the business in the future. Having the shop allowed us to promote our textile printing service directly to individuals, which was a move away from our usual work with businesses only.
“We were able to make and ship many of the items directly from the shop, taking the seasonal overflow away from the workshop and improving the delivery speed of our online service. It proved a huge success, enabling us to keep our platforms better stocked and therefore maximising sales.
Cllr Tony Dignum, Cabinet Member for Growth, Place and Regeneration at Chichester District Council, says: “As a council, we want to do everything we can to support local businesses in the Chichester District and encourage people to support our high streets.
“We have listened to feedback about the Pop-Up Shop initiative and want to make it easier for businesses and entrepreneurs to try out having a high street presence, which is why we are now accepting applications throughout the year.
“Part of the council’s economic development plan involves re-imagining the city centre and developing key economic activities. The Pop-Up Shop initiative aims to encourage creativity and innovation and will support start-ups, entrepreneurs, and small businesses by providing them with an opportunity to trial business concepts in a low-risk environment.
“Our long-term objective is to lease the council-owned retail outlet on Crane Street on a permanent basis. In the meantime, our scheme will help enhance the appearance of streets such as Crane Street, draw in new customers and trade, and help meet the aims of the Chichester Vision by improving choice and offering more opportunities for independent shops.”