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Council powers to promote pop-ups

Chantry Centre Multi-Storey Car Park Andover
Chantry Centre Multi-Storey Car Park (image by Shirley White Photography)

The Chantry Centre is set to open its doors to pop-up shops after Test Valley Borough Council launched easy in, easy out occupancy agreements for prospective tenants.

This will enable businesses and groups to test the water by renting empty units in the shopping centre on a short-term basis, so they don’t have to commit to lengthy leases.

As well as filling vacant shops, the authority hopes that this will give a platform for businesses, groups and those offering local services to raise their profiles in the town.

Leader of Test Valley Borough Council, Councillor Phil North, said: “Since I became the leader of Test Valley Borough Council, I have been really clear that rejuvenating our town centres is our top priority. I hope these new agreements will encourage people to pursue a pop-up shop as I am keen to reduce the number of vacant units in the Chantry Centre. Pop-up shops have grown in popularity in recent years as retailers are more reluctant to sign up for lengthy leases and this makes good use of the empty stores. I’m also keen to bring some real variety to the town and enable those who might not otherwise consider a town centre location to give it a try.

“If you have an idea for a pop-up shop, even if it isn’t a traditional business, then please get in touch. Whether you sell goods, provide a service or wish to promote a hobby, then we’d really like to hear from you. Modern day town centres are about so much more than just retail and there is an ever growing emphasis on leisure and living, so feel free to be creative.

We have some really good examples in the town of pop-up shops that went on to take permanent leases and I hope we see further examples of this with the launch of the new easy in, easy out agreements.”

Anyone interested in a Chantry Centre pop-up shop can contact Colin Hares, valuer at Test Valley Borough Council, on 01264 368000 or email chares@testvalley.gov.uk

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