Pop-up property hub and Christmas store presents chance to re-use vacant city centre retail space

November 18, 2021
A previously empty shop in Bath city centre has been transformed to give it a unique double life. 
On weekdays the unit on New Bond Street, previoulsy occupied by giftware firm Bloomsbury, is used as Bath & North East
Somerset Council’s commercial property letting hub while at the weekends becomes a festive pop-up store.
The council says the project is an important part of its regeneration policy for the city centre, which has suffered a number of high-profile shop closures over recent years as the general decline of traditional high streets and the rise of online retail was exacerbated by the impact of the pandemic. 
The property hub, which is open from are 9am to 5pm from Mondays to Thursdays, provides a way for the council to directly promote its property portfolio to businesses in Bath, supporting them to thrive and driving the regeneration of the city centre.
The pop-up festive store is open on Fridays to Sundays from 10am-5pm for seven consecutive weekends and is offering a space for Bath craft traders to share their products with shoppers.
Traders are also making use of a shop unit on Cheap St, a previoulsy vacant store where the council opened its High Street Hub in June to support local businesses recover from the effects of the pandemic.
With strong demand from local traders, both pop-up shops are now fully booked for all seven weekends.
Products on offer over the coming weeks will include jewellery, pet products, candles, clothing, spirits and Christmas décor.
Traders using the New Bond Street shop over first two weekends of the festive shopping experience have included Slouchy, Planty Kate, Nido Handmade, Bobbi Handmade Children's Clothes, Scout and Sage Spirits and Kabisa African Creations.
Council leader councillor Kevin Guy said: “Our commercial property hub is a vibrant space where we can make the most of promoting the assets we are fortunate to have in Bath, attracting new business and helping our high streets to thrive.
“The pop-up shops are showcasing these letting opportunities as well as bringing an even richer Christmas shopping experience to residents and visitors in Bath, encouraging more people to shop local.”
The pop-up shops are part of the council’s Vacant Units Action Project, aimed at breathing new life into the city centre, supporting local business and encouraging footfall. 
It is funded by £245,000 from the West of England Combined Authority’s high streets recovery fund.
West of England Metro Mayor Dan Norris, who leads the authority, said: “High streets are the beating heart of our communities, and the combined authority I lead is proud to support this initiative. 
"It’s a great way to encourage people to shop local and is sure to spread some festive cheer. It's going to make Bath an even better place to shop – I’ll be popping down myself when I get round to doing my Christmas shopping!”  
Pictured: Bath & North East Somerset Council leader councillor Kevin Guy, centre, flanked by Cllr Richard Samuel and Lisa Doerr, Founder of Slouchy



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