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PopUp Ashford extends stay

PopUp Ashford will stay open in the town centre until December, it has been announced.

The Park Mall shop that gives start-up businesses the chance to test their trade on the high street has extended its lease for another eight months so that it can continue to support local traders for longer.

PopUp Ashford opened in October 2013 to showcase different start-up businesses in the town centre for two weeks at a time. After it extended its initial six month lease due to high demand, the shop was due to close at the end of April.

However, interest and support for the concept’s presence in the town centre remained high, and Ashford’s Town Team has successfully extended its lease for a further eight months.

Tenancy periods within the shops have also been extended, so that traders will now stay in the store for a minimum of four weeks (as opposed to the original two week slot).

PopUp Ashford is supported by Ashford Town Team and Ashford Borough Council as part of the Portas Pilot project.
Ashford Town Team manager Jo Wynn-Carter said: “We are very pleased to have secured a further eight months in Park Mall, and the unit landlords have been very supportive of the PopUp project as a whole.

“We want to keep up the momentum it has created, and to give more retailers the chance to test their trade on the high street.

“The longer tenancies also give traders more time to build customer relations, which improves their chances of progressing into vacant units in the town centre when their time is up.”

As PopUp Ashford remains open, there will also be a continued effort to use the space in conjunction with other organisations to promote town centre business, and other Town Team projects, including:
- Serving as a contact point for businesses to contact the Town Team Manager
- Hosting drop-in and promotional sessions for the Love Ashford website
- Hosting retailing and skills workshops for local business
- Showcasing positive Ashford projects
- Working with schools, colleges and other start-up initiatives
- Serving as a contact point for the Town Centre Action Team

Ashford Borough Council portfolio holder for town centre and urban economy Cllr Graham Galpin said: “I am very pleased PopUp Ashford will remain open in Park Mall, as it is a testament to the hard work and success of Ashford Town Team and its manager Jo.

“I encourage everyone to visit the shop and the local traders, and give these start-up businesses the support they deserve.”

Fancy a spot in PopUp Ashford? Slots are available in the shop for the coming weeks. Local businesses interested in taking part should go to www.popupbritain.com/apply  You can also follow @love_ashford on Twitter.

Media release 0114/2014

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