The Government has opened its first ever pop-up shop in Whitehall today as part of its bid to help revitalise high streets.
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has opened the store with national enterprise campaign StartUp Britain in a bid to showcase Britain’s best new retailers to the public.
The store will host six new businesses every fortnight which will share costs and trial new business ideas. It will be open for at least a year.
The department is not seeking any financial return from the shop, which is being supported by sponsors Intuit, John Lewis and StartUp Britain.
DCLG secretary of state Eric Pickles said: “We are absolutely determined to support the high street and we know pop-ups are a great we to bring empty shops back to life and get new businesses going, so we thought why not open one right here in the department in time for Cardinal Place shoppers to get their Christmas goodies.
“It will also showcase how we can unleash more of our best and brightest young entrepreneurs onto this country’s high streets.”
Business minister Mark Prisk has written to the British Property Federation to urge landlords to support temporary leases.
High streets across the country have long been battling the loss of trade to out-of-town retailers and online shopping as well as the decline in spending as a result of the economic downturn.
Prisk revealed all 330 Town Team Partners working with the Government to boost their high streets will receive support to facilitate new pop-ups in their empty high street premises, which could support thousands of new businesses.
Government said a guide to opening a pop-up will be published shortly and StartUp Britain has published an online tool kit today.
Government is providing more than £80m of start-up loans for young entrepreneurs across the private sector, which could create over 30,000 new businesses. Ministers are also changing planning restrictions so landlords can alter how an empty shop is used for up to two years.
Prisk said: “There’s a real appetite in our town centres to get them revitalised so they remain attractive places to visit. And it’s not just talk: there are many extremely capable and serious people with some superb ideas; but they need a bit of help to get started.”