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New retail concept Pops–Up in Rotherham

posted 25 Jan 2013, 02:47 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 25 Jan 2013, 02:57 ]
If you have ever thought about running your own shop, then Rotherham Town Centre has the ideal opportunity for you to try the idea out for real.

As part of the ongoing activities to improve the town centre offer, Rotherham Investment & Development Office (RiDO), the regeneration arm of Rotherham Council, has instigated a new project which provides an exciting opportunity for new-start businesses looking to test their products on Rotherham shoppers.

The Council's Town Centre Team is offering a prime retail unit at Imperial Buildings on flexible and attractive lease terms to help businesses get up and running in Rotherham town centre. The successful business will be initially offered a three month licence for the unit with the option to occupy the shop for up to one year if successful. Rental discounts, help with fitting out and free business support & retail training form part of the package available.

The 'Pop-up Shops' have become increasingly popular across the country as a means of offering retail space to new start businesses looking to try out their markets, gain valuable experience to shape their business model and to make a sound decision regarding their long term viability before potentially investing significantly in set-up costs and committing to a long term lease agreement.

Councillor Gerald Smith, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Development, said; "We are very pleased to be able to offer this opportunity to those with potential business ideas. It can be a big decision, financially and practically to set up a retail venture, and the pop-up shop concept gives the ideal chance to see if the business idea works for them.

"It also provides us with the opportunity to bring back to life empty retail units, and add to the differentiated retail offer we already have in Rotherham, and which is clearly working for us from the improved footfall figures and the results of the customer satisfaction surveys.

The scheme is being funded by central Government as part of a grant received by Rotherham Council and follows the announcement last year that Rotherham was successful in becoming a 'Portas Pilot' town.

This Government initiative, lead by Retail guru Mary Portas, recognises and rewards towns finding innovative ways to revitalise the retail high street, with pop-up shops being a good example of this.

Local Growth Minister Mark Prisk added: "There's a real appetite in our town centres to get them revitalised so they remain attractive places to visit. And it's not just talk: there are many extremely capable and serious people with some superb ideas; but they need a bit of help to get started. Pop-up shops are a superb way for all sorts of entrepreneurs to do this and test their ideas."

Applications are now being accepted from interested retailers and will be assessed based on the presentation of a sound business plan and importantly the ability of the proposed business to add something new to the High Street.

To apply for the Pop-Up Shop project or to find out more, contact the Town Centre Team on 01709 254888 or by email to info@rotherhamtowncentre.co.uk. The deadline for applications will be noon on Friday 8th February 2013.

This project forms part of the growing package of support to retailers, including those new to Rotherham but also those existing in the town centre.

In Autumn 2011, the town centre team announced the introduction of Business Development Grants which aim to support those retailers already operating in the town centre who positively contribute to the shopping offer and who have potential to grow. Funding is available to help with expansion, marketing & promotion and staff training amongst other things.