Government launches pop-up shop space for retail entrepreneurs

The Department for Communities and Local Government this week launched a pop-up shop in its own London headquarters, as part of a government drive to rejuvenate Britain's high streets and support entrepreneurs.

Every two weeks, six new British start-ups will move into the shop and share costs and space for a fortnight, before making way for the next six businesses. Over the next year, the pop-up shop is expected to provide affordable retail space to more than 150 business start-ups.

Ministers hope the idea will be adopted by other landlords with empty properties in town centres across the country. Writing to the British Property Federation, business minister Mark Prisk urged other landlords to get on board - announcing that over 350 high streets will receive support to facilitate pop-up shops, which could support thousands of new businesses.

Opening the pop-up shop with Mr. Prisk and StartUp Britain co-founder Emma Jones, communities secretary Eric Pickles said:

"We are absolutely determined to support the high street and we know pop-ups are a great way to bring empty shops back to life and get new businesses going, so we thought ‘why not open one right here in the department?'. It will also showcase how we can unleash more of our best and brightest young entrepreneurs onto the country's high streets."

The launch is part of the Government's attempt to rejuvenate ailing high streets, which also includes providing over £80 million in start-up loans to young entrepreneurs and altering planning restrictions to increase use of empty properties. The British Retail Consortium estimates that 11.3 per cent of shop premises in UK town centres are now vacant.

According to research from StartUp Britain, a national campaign being run by entrepreneurs to support new-businesses, 82 per cent of start-ups found the pop-up experience was valuable for their business.