Emerging businesses will have the chance to trade from a ‘pop-up’ space as part of a joint initiative to support retail in the district.
The spaces will be available in unit 10 of The Arcade, Bognor Regis, and similar opportunities are being sought in Littlehampton.
The vacant unit is being renovated to provide up to eight pop-up retail opportunities as part of a scheme run by Arun District Council in partnership with Bognor Regis BID.
Spaces will be available on a flexible, short term basis to appeal to new businesses, crafts people and those who wish to exhibit their work. The area can also be configured for those looking to deliver workshops, or as a ‘makers’ space’.
Councillor Shaun Gunner, Leader of Arun District Council, said: "At Arun, we are constantly focussed on how we can support the residents and businesses of this district by making Arun a great place to live, to work and to visit.
“People often wonder what the district council can practically do to help small businesses, and I'm delighted to say that these pop-up spaces are providing that practical support. Giving local traders the opportunity to sell and showcase their work - on flexible terms - will help bring vibrancy and energy to both Bognor Regis and Littlehampton and help support our businesses to grow and prosper. This shows the positive power that Arun District Council can bring to our local economy."
Councillor Andy Cooper, Chair of the Economy Committee at Arun District Council, said: “We are committed to supporting our high street and helping new businesses to get off the ground and flourish in a tricky market where so many people are shopping online.
“Once renovated, this space in The Arcade will give local enterprises a fantastic opportunity to see if their business idea works without committing to the expense of a long lease. I’m very excited to see this initiative get off the ground and look forward to something similar being developed in Littlehampton.”
Pop-up retail refers to a temporary shop, stall or ‘brand experience’ used to sell goods and services for a limited period time. It includes everything from market stalls and street food vendors, to fashion shops, galleries, cafés and bars.
These shops not only give people the chance to pilot their business idea and trial running a shop, they also make use of empty units, adding vibrancy to town centres.
BR BID Chairman, Jason Passingham, said: “The BID is delighted to support ADC in delivering this exciting new initiative under its “Well Known Town” objective. We know the vital contribution independent businesses play in creating a town centre’s unique character, and this is an excellent way to encourage new businesses from a wide range of sectors to test and refine their ideas, and see that Bognor Regis is a great place to do business in.”
Funding for the renovation of the vacant unit will come from a £50,000 budget to develop pop-up retail in the district, agreed by the council last year but delayed as officers were redirected to support businesses accessing Covid-19 grants.