By Kelly Wickham
The city centre will welcome three new start-up businesses to the high street as part of Chichester District Council’s exciting Pop-up Shop initiative.
The scheme, which has been launched to help support small and start-up businesses in the Chichester area, was launched in January.
By making use of vacant 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.
This month, two premises in Crane Street, Chichester, will be the first to open for business as part of the scheme.
Co Co Baby will open its doors for the first time month and owner Rebecca Hilsdon is excited at the prospect.
“The pop-up shop scheme is a major opportunity for us and one that we didn’t want to miss out on,” she said.
“So far, we have been trading successfully online, but our goal is to have a permanent shop in Chichester.
“At this early stage, the commitment of a long-term shop lease wasn’t a realistic option for us, which is why the Pop-up Shop initiative has been so perfect for us. It means we can display our goods and services, and trial the advantages of having a shop base.”
Also joining the scheme this month is the Apuldram Centre, which will be using a second premises in Crane Street to sell artwork and handmade crafts created by adults with learning disabilities.
Rachel Aslet-Clark, from the centre, said: “This scheme will give us a base in the centre of the city to promote the talents and abilities of the local people we support.
“It will also provide work experience opportunities in a real retail setting, as our Pop-up shop will also feature a small studio area where our artists can work and engage with shoppers and browsers.”
The third business to trade as part of the Pop-up shop initiative, is Greenie’s Clothes Store, run by University of Chichester student Jennifer Wheeley, which will open next month.
“For the past three years, I have been running a successful online clothing business,” she said.
“I have recently started hosting clothing events, selling clothes by weight, and this has been very popular with students, so I am excited to share it with more people.
“I am now looking at ways to expand my business and feel that a shop would be an excellent opportunity. The pop up shop initiative is a great chance to experiment with the idea of stores and clothing events without the cost of a long- term commitment.
“I will be able to learn about the sustainable and vintage clothing industry in much more detail, and can use this knowledge to expand my business.”
Cllr Martyn Bell, cabinet member for growth, place, and regeneration at Chichester District Council, said: “We’re very pleased to be welcoming our first businesses to join us in this new venture.
“As a council, we are committed to supporting our high streets and local businesses, and to do this, we need to consider a variety of things, including changing customer needs and expectations as well as the barriers that smaller businesses face when trying to find affordable retail space in a prime location. Pop-up shops are becoming a very popular and effective way of meeting these needs.”
People can find out more about the council’s initiative and the work of its economic development team at: chichester.gov.uk/businesssupportandadvice