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North Tyneside Council launches pop-up shop initiative, Bdaily 30 Oct 14

As part of North Tyneside Council’s business support, it is launching four pop-up shops for fledgling businesses in the former Connexions centre in Russell Street.

The Council is preparing the units for the shops’ opening at the end of November.

They are all different sizes and will be available to rent from the council for six months; however, there is an option to extend the lease for a further six months.

The shops are on the ground floor with options on the first floor for storage or expansion. All units come with additional secure storage space and will be lockable.

The rent will be fully inclusive of heat, light, power and on site wifi.

Opening times will be a strict 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and all stock must be approved by North Tyneside Council.

Cabinet member responsible for Economic Development, Councillor Frank Lott, said: "We know there are many people working on a very small scale, sometimes online or from their own home, who are looking for the chance to test their ideas and take temporary shop space to sell their products.

"Pop up shops is just one initiative the council is developing to help those people take their first tentative steps.

“We are always looking at ways which we can help keep our town centres special and vibrant and this project is the perfect start for our budding traders and entrepreneurs to get their business off the ground at the busiest time of the year."

(Read article


Number of UK High Street shops falls sharply - BBC News 09 Oct 14

The number of shops on the High Street declined dramatically in the first nine months of this year, a survey suggests.

Town centres saw 964 net closures between January and September, two-and-a-half times the net reduction for the whole of 2013, according to the study by PwC and the Local Data Company.

The collapse of businesses such as Phones 4U and lingerie chain La Senza accelerated the decline, PwC said.

Clothing shops were among the hardest hit while betting shops thrived.

In total 365 traditional goods retailers, such as shoe and clothes shops, closed down in the first half of the year.

The number of travel agents and pawnbrokers also fell.

This was exacerbated by a dramatic reduction in the number of Albermarle & Bond shops after the pawnbroker fell into administration and had to be rescued by an investment group.

Coffee shops thrive

Conversely, the study which looked at 500 town centres, showed coffee shops, banks, pound shops, charity shops, convenience stores and American restaurants were among those opening the most outlets.

(Read more


Shop illusion scheme to boost Kendal - Aug 14


A surprise is in store for window shoppers in Kirkland, Kendal, thanks to an innovative project funded by South Lakeland District Council.

A vacant site has been given a new look which creates the illusion of an urban farm shop in an attempt to help attract future tenants.

As well as showcasing the site’s potential, the “shop-jacket” also advertises the Invest in South Lakeland website where businesses can find information on grants, business support, a local business directory, and a complete list of all other available retail units.

Shop-jackets are designed and installed by a company in Whitley Bay. They are being used successfully to visually enhance high streets up and down the country and are recognised as helping to reduce shop vacancy rates.

Whilst Kendal has the highest shop vacancy rate in the district at 10.1 per cent (July 2014), this is considerably down from 12.3 per cent from just 3 months ago.

The shop-jacket aims to improve the look of the unit and give it a good chance of being let by showing it in its very best light. It is hoped it may encourage traders to open up in the town. This new scheme also offers an alternative to hoardings while marketing the property in an original way.

Cllr Giles Archibald, SLDC Portfolio Holder for Town Centres and Small Business, has welcomed this pilot for South Lakeland. He said:  “This is an excellent new product which aims to assist with the marketing of empty units while making them look as attractive as possible.

“Our Economic Development Team was very keen to trial a shop-jacket as a pilot in one of the district’s vacant units.  The property chosen for the pilot has been empty for nearly two years. 

“Kirkland has a number of excellent local businesses and, of course, the best outcome would be a new retail tenant to take on that unit.  If this pilot proves successful we anticipate undertaking more shop-jackets across the district.”

Brian Harrison, Chair of the Kirkland Partnership said “It won’t regenerate the High Street on its own, but as a component part it is a great idea.

“The particular spot where the shop-jacket has been placed has been an eyesore in the town for some time. The space has been transformed in 24 hours and hopefully it will plant ideas in peoples’ heads and act as a symbol of regeneration for traders.”


Shop fronts spruced up to give fire hit Stanley town centre a boost, Chronicle 8th Aug 14

Shopjacket and Durham County Council's Stanley Area Action Partnership are bidding to revitalise the town centre after two huge blazes

Town centre traders left reeling by two major fires are fighting back by sprucing up their shop fronts.

Stanley in County Durham hit the headlines repeatedly over the last year when the blazes broke out.

Residents looked on in horror when the first fire broke out at Wong’s Chop Suey House on Front Street in November, and destroyed the Elite buildings. A second blaze in December ripped through a row of shops, also on Front Street.

Now, to stave off a loss of trade to the town centre, Durham County Council’s Stanley Area Action Partnership has teamed up with store makeover business Shopjacket.

A series of stores have now had a revamp and work is planned at stores in surrounding villages, such as South Moor, too.

Paul Murphy, director of Shopjacket, said: “Shopjacket has developed a range of initiatives that can help deal with the underlying issues for retailers and bring vibrancy and a sense of pride back.

“We have been working with Stanley Area Action Partnership (AAP), part of Durham County Council, to help several small independent businesses improve the look of their shop fronts.

“New branding, signage and decoration works are helping to rejuvenate the local streetscape, as well as improving business turnovers.

“Shopjacket will continue to offer support and provide advice on any interior improvements that a local business may want to make. Feedback from the traders involved and the general public has been very positive.”

Andrew Megginson, Durham County Council’s principal Area Action Partnership co-ordinator, said it handed out grants to stores to help them develop and it had been a boost for a town which has suffered so many setbacks.

He said: “Stanley Area Action Partnership has worked with the local traders to develop a package of small grants for local businesses to improve the visual appearance of their shop fronts.

“A number of grants to local businesses have been awarded to improve things like signage and the rendering and painting of shop fronts. This has had a positive effect on both the local environment and vitality of the town.”





Paisley - A great example of why Shopjackets are worth it 

Thank you for your work by Shopjacket at our above premises, this property lay empty since London and Scottish bank went bust in summer of 2009. We had an estate agents board on it for three and a half years then contacted you to do something. I put my own mobile number on your Shopjacket  covering as well as the rent requested and without any exaggeration got 25 calls over a 3 month period. Every agent we talked to said retail on High Street was hopeless, they were so wrong. We have let the property on a ten year lease giving a period of rent free
Many thanks and kind regards
Colum McNicholl
Managing Director
Blackwood Investments Ltd