Development initiative the Collective Project is to launch a series of pop-up shops in vacant business properties throughout London’s Camden high streets, it has been announced.
Seeking to make the North London area a “focal point for the nation’s creative economy”, the Collective Project is backed by the Mayor of London’s Regeneration Fund and Camden Council and is delivered by Camden Town Unlimited.
Up to 18 vacant retail units on Camden High Street will be refurbished and repurposed in collaboration with the Conran Design Group and offered to emerging entrepreneurs on a six-month long rolling programme offering “test trading” opportunities, while the shops will also operate as street level exhibition spaces for a wide range of art and culture events.
Accentuating the commercial value of the units is the priority for the project developers in the hope that these properties will be returned to market at the end of the process to create a sustainable economic future for the borough.
In March, the Local Data Company revealed that the number of independent stores that closed on the UK high street in the second half of 2012 outnumbered those that opened and this scheme hopes to re-establish the potential of empty retail space.
Simon Pitkeathley, CEO of Camden Town Unlimited said of the programme: “Collective’s unique Pop Up programme forms part of a wider initiative that provides meaningful support to the UK’s creative and cultural sector.
“Through developing these street-level retail units into flexible, vibrant exhibition spaces and making them available to artists and creatives, Camden is able to both showcase the work of our most exciting creative talents and provide grassroots support to the UK’s cultural economy.”
Collective Pop Ups will launch on May 7th 2013 and run alongside the wider project, which includes start-up support offering Collective Hubs and career development scheme for interns Collective Fellowships.