Start-up retailers are set to be offered free space in UK shopping centres as nine of the country‘s biggest retail landlords launch a new scheme Free Space +.
The new initiative launched by the British Independent Retailer‘s Association (BIRA) and Revo will see space in retail hubs like Westfield Stratford, Birmingham‘s Bullring and Sheffield‘s Meadowhall offer free space and support worth £30,000.
Start-up business must apply to Free Space +, highlighting their preferred shopping centre and explaining why trading from the location will accelerate their growth.
The winners will be announced in January next year, seeing the leading applicants granted their preferred space for three months, while receiving a support package from Bira including insurance, legal advice and mentoring.
“We are proud to bring together the UK‘s leading retail landlords to create a national platform that that will help start-up businesses access the space they need to thrive and grow,” Revo chief executive Ed Cooke said.
“Physical retail space is not only a point of sale, it is integral to building a retail brand and driving website traffic. Free Space+ is the first business incubation initiative of its kind, not only allowing businesses to trade from some of the UK‘s leading retail destinations for free, but providing them with the support they need to fully realise its potential.
“This in turn, will bring exciting new businesses into shopping centres, where a dynamic mix of businesses is essential to attract shoppers.”
The landlords taking part in the scheme include Westfield, British Land, Hammerson, Capital & Regional, M&G, Montagu Evans, Ellandi, New River Retail and Moorgarth.