High streets offering opportunities for start-ups

The retail revolution, which is leaving many of the UK’s high streets littered with empty shopfronts, is offering start-ups plenty of possibilities however experts have recommended that individuals need to be careful where they set up shop.

As one commentator remarked, city planners and property owners welcome the “antidote to the corporate” of small retailers but a lot of empty retail space is not suitable for start-ups.

Large units and long leases are certainly not attractive while outdoor markets and pop-up shops can often be too transitory, so entrepreneurs can often find themselves in a dilemma over where to settle.

However, a couple of potential option are being trialled by Newcastle, which is turning shipping containers into temporary retail space on a site destined for re-development under a scheme called ‘Stack’, while another initiative is turning a Grade 1 listed market building into a home for alternative crafts and arts businesses.

Both options benefit from having regular footfall, for example, Grainger Market is on track to see six million people through the area this year, while Stack is right in the middle of the city itself.

For those who prefer a slower pace of life, the Government has recently announced grants of up to £750,000 to rural firms in a bid to create local jobs and boost productivity.

The Growth Programme provides grants for rural start-ups and businesses to purchase state-of-the-art equipment and machinery to grow their business or open up opportunities for tourism.

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