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District Dispatch - 8 December 2022

As you know, a top priority for us is to support local businesses, and as part of this we have launched a pop-up shop scheme to help entrepreneurs and small businesses to trade in a high street location without the commitment or cost of a longer-term lease.

District dispatch 1

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.

I'm pleased to say that some of our latest tenants are students from Chichester College. Their shop is called 'Renew', which offers a range of hand-crafted products - all made by art & design students at the college. From framed prints to ceramic homewares, jewellery to tote bags — the shop offers a selection of beautiful items which will make affordable, unique Christmas presents.

Shoppers will not only be supporting the students, but also the local community, with 10% of all profit made being donated to the Chichester Food Bank, while the rest will be invested back into future student projects. The students have even included a donation point in the shop for the food bank, as well as an Eco Swap Shop - offering the opportunity to exchange unwanted, but wearable clothes for other donated items of clothing.

The students initially started this project by selling their hand-crafted products at our Cross, Market & More events and so we are really proud to offer them further support through our pop-up shop scheme. 'Renew' (opens new window) is open Tuesday to Saturday until Sunday 18 December. Please do pop in while you are doing your Christmas shopping and show your support for this fantastic initiative.

Our pop-up shop scheme is open to all businesses in the district and so if you are interested, or know someone who would be, please visit our website for more information. You may also be interested to find out more about the range of support that is available to businesses through our 'Supporting You' campaign.

Our fantastic high streets in Chichester, East Wittering, Midhurst and Petworth have so much to offer this Christmas, so please do show your support and try to shop locally wherever you can. Our local businesses really need our support more than ever. There are also lots of Christmas events and markets taking place across the district to help get you into the festive spirit, from Christmas wreath making at Stanstead House, to a Christmas Light up trail at Cowdray. Many of these activities are listed on our What's On pages and The Great Sussex Way (opens new window) so please take a look.

Chichester's special Starlight Trail is returning on Thursday 8 December, providing an evening filled with festive crafts and activities. You can choose to start at either our Novium Museum, Pallant House Gallery, or Chichester Library where you can make a star lantern and collect a Starlight Trail passport. You can then take part in festive crafts and activities at each venue, collecting stamps along the way. If you collect all three stamps, you will be entered into a prize draw to win a £50 Chichester Gift Card. The event runs from 4pm to 7pm and costs £6 per child. Tickets must be booked in advance. Make sure you also have a look at the fantastic gifts on sale in our Novium Museum shop (opens new window).

And finally, don't forget to visit our Countdown to Christmas web pages which are filled with information on parking offers, events, markets, places to shop, and our services over the Christmas period.

Best Wishes

Cllr Eileen Lintill

Leader of Chichester District Council