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Pop-Up Poole proved a great success

Over the last year Poole’s innovative pop-up shop has proved a real success, supporting over 80 new start-up businesses, budding entrepreneurs, social enterprises and charities to showcase their products in a high street location.

This initiative has provided an ideal setting for those who were considering trading in the high street to gain valuable experience of selling their products without the financial burden of paying rent and business rates.

The pop-up shop initially opened at 58 High Street in September 2014 for a six-month trial period, and proved so successful that Borough of Poole extended the lease to the end of August 2015 when the shop will close.

Those that have taken advantage of this fantastic opportunity include Poole High School, Bournemouth and Poole College, the Arts University Bournemouth and students on the Young Enterprise and Princes Trust programmes. In addition it was used by the Driving Urban Enterprise (DUET) programme which focused on helping people to start a business and by local STEM businesses and colleges to promote the sector.

The Explora Science, Technology and Discovery Centre used Pop-Up Poole to promote science to school children and the public. Throughout the two weeks nearly 300 school children and over 800 members of the public visited the shop and Explora are now considering a permanent science lab in Poole.

Borough of Poole also used the shop to launch its ‘new to you’ service which gives perfectly good everyday items that have been recovered from the waste recycling centre a new lease of life instead of sending them to landfill. Nearly 1,380 visited the shop in 11 days, spending over £2,000. Following this success, Borough of Poole opened a permanent ‘new to you’ facility at Cabot Lane on 22 August 2015.

Adrian Trevett, Economic Development Manager, Borough of Poole, said: “Throughout the year we have changed the use of Pop-Up Poole to maintain interest and encourage new and return visitors. It has been great to see the wide variety of people using the shop and benefitting from the experience.”

Councillor Xena Dion, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for the Economy, Borough of Poole, said: “Pop-Up Poole has proved a real hit with new start-up businesses, budding entrepreneurs, social enterprises, residents and shoppers alike. The increased number of visitors to the shop has benefitted other businesses in this part of the High Street and improved the vitality of the area."

Pop-Up Poole was provided in partnership between Borough of Poole and The New Leaf Company (the Social Enterprise arm of Bournemouth Churches Housing Association). Funded by the council, the initiative saw a previously long-term vacant shop being brought back into use.

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