Chichester District Council has opened up applications for the scheme for its two pop-up shops in Crane Street, Chichester.

The scheme was launched in January to help support small and start-up businesses in the Chichester District. Using shops owned by the council, the initiative offers affordable temporary premises for smaller enterprises. This gives local entrepreneurs the opportunity to trial business concepts and trade in a high street location without the commitment or cost of a longer-term lease.

Applications are now open for the Christmas trading period. Potential occupants have until 19 October to apply, with a view to potentially being set up and trading from the spaces by 1 November.  Each unit is available for a maximum of 12 weeks and costs £50 per week, plus VAT, which also covers rates and utility bills.

Businesses that have already tested the water this year include an ice cream business, a children's clothes shop and next month, a Chichester-based artist will also start to trade at one of the units for a four-week stint.

"As our high streets try to recover following the lockdown period, this is a really useful scheme for people who have been inspired to start up their own businesses and want to try out a high street location," says Councillor Tony Dignum, Cabinet Member for Growth, Place and Regeneration at Chichester District Council.  "As a council, we are committed to supporting our High Streets and local businesses, and want to do what we can to give smaller businesses and start-ups the opportunity to trade in the city.

"We are very lucky in that the City already has an incredible array of shops and businesses, and we hope that our Pop Up Shop Initiative will give new businesses the opportunity and confidence to get their ideas off the ground.

"It's really important that we all play our part in supporting our local businesses. As part of our Shop Local campaign, we are encouraging residents and visitors to think local every time they shop."

Pop-up shops offer a range of benefits, and the council's scheme aims to:

  • provide affordable retail space for independent and start-up businesses;
  • draw in new customers and trade;
  • enhance the appearance of retail areas; and,
  • help meet the aims of the Chichester Vision by improving choice and offering more opportunities for independent shops.

People can find out more information and apply for the scheme by visiting Business advice & support and clicking on 'Pop Up Shop Initiative'.

Date of release: 28 September 2020

Reference: 3917