Newport Now BID, working in partnership with Newport City Council, has secured funding from Welsh Government to offer local businesses the opportunity to have a temporary city centre retail shop.
Two retail units in prime locations in Newport city centre will be used for this initiative for at least two months starting in May and interested parties are being invited to pre-register their interest now.
The project is funded via the Welsh Government's Transforming Towns scheme and therefore there is no cost to BID levy payers.
Dan Smith, director of M4 Property Consultants and a Newport Now BID board member and consultant, will be managing the scheme on behalf of the BID.
Commenting on why the decision has been taken to provide local entrepreneurs and small business owners with this free opportunity and the benefits those invited to participate can look forward to, he said: “With the support of Newport City Council, Newport Now BID recognises the difficulties some start-up businesses face when searching and securing a high street retail space. We hope that by participating in this scheme the companies and individuals involved will be encouraged to ‘test the market’ in advance of committing to their own retail unit.
"In similar previous initiatives, retailers have used the opportunity to launch new products or services to a wider customer base, to gain a better understanding of the retail sector and interacting with instore customers and to learn from the experiences of other retailers.”
In late 2021, New Pastures Home, a local independent business selling homemade candles, diffusers and wax melts benefitted from setting up a pop-up shop in Friars Walk for a two-week trial.
This proved to be so successful, they needed more space and subsequently moved into larger premises opposite. They continue to do well, and the business has gone from strength to strength, just committing to a further 12 months in the larger shop.
Dean Carbin, co-owner of New Pastures Home said: “We would strongly recommend that new, start-up businesses or perhaps more established businesses who are considering having a high street presence should apply to participate in this initiative. It helped Hywel and I make our dream a reality. From the first day we opened we were able to learn and understand what is involved when running a retail business and utilise this experience for the benefit of our business. It’s working our really well for us and we are very grateful for the initial opportunity which spurred us into action.”
Beverly Owen, chief executive of Newport City Council, said: “We are pleased to be working with Newport Now BID on another initiative in the city centre. The council is committed to helping the city centre bounce back after the impact of the pandemic and this scheme is one of a number designed to help independent new businesses get a start in a prime location and continue to revitalise the local offer. We’ve seen a number of fantastic new independents establish themselves in the city centre and look forward to welcoming even more with the help of schemes like this.”
If you are interested in participating or finding out more about the initiative, please email email@example.com