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Idea for Norwich pop-up shops is backed

PUBLISHED: 08:39 21 July 2012

Stefan Gurney, manager of the City Centre Partnership in Norwich; picture by Adrian Judd.

Stefan Gurney, manager of the City Centre Partnership in Norwich; picture by Adrian Judd.

copyright of Archant 2009; 01603 772434

A government plan to boost Britain's high streets by making it easier for people to move into empty premises and open up pop-up shops could revitalise Norwich city centre.

Pop-up shops are an increasingly popular way for retailers to sell products and promote their brand.

Under the new proposals retailers can occupy a premises for two years rather than just for a day or a few weeks.

Norwich is bucking the trend by having the least number of empty shops compared to other towns and cities in the UK, but the move has been welcomed by both retailers and landlords looking to fill retail units.

Stefan Gurney, right, Norwich City Centre Partnership Manager believes the move will encourage more people to consider opening a pop-up shop.

“At the moment it can be costly to apply to change the use of a shop so many businesses feel it is not worth it for a pop-up shop that will only be up and running for a few weeks,” said Mr Gurney. “Although this proposal is in the early stages it does look like it will encourage all kinds of businesses to open up a pop-up shop so that they can ‘try before they buy’. In the short-term this could mean that empty retail units are put to good use and in the long-term it could lead to more entrepreneurs setting up fully fledged businesses if their pop-up shop is successful.”

City College Norwich Retail Skills Academy is planning to offer a course in how to open a successful pop-up shop in the coming months. Head of Retail Skills Academy Alex Hill said: “For any pop-up shop to be successful retailers need to take time to plan every element of setting up and running their shop so cutting this red tape will allow them to do this more effectively.”

Anyone interested in taking part in the course can find out more details by calling the Retail Skills Academy on 01603 667668 or email retail@ccn.ac.uk

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