from South Wales Argus
A NEW pop-up shop scheme was launched by community group Caldicot Town Team in the town centre today.
The ‘Caldicot Goes Pop!’ project will see previously empty units used as temporary trading spaces for local businesses.
Many residents in Caldicot have expressed concerns about the current state of the town centre but there is hoping that the new venture will rejuvenate the area.
Aaron Reeks, on of the group’s three directors, said: “We’ve already received some great feedback already from the businesses.
“In the short term we want to generate a greater footfall in the town centre by offering these new shops and it gives us a chance to find out what the people of Caldicot want.
“We know that not every business is going to work here but we’re really optimistic that we can make a real change by utilising these shops.”
The premise of the project is to offer short-term leases of up to two weeks to local businesses to test if their business is viable.
Mr Reeks reserved praise for the unit’s landlords Jaymar Estates who have reportedly shown a ‘great interest’ in the work the Town Team are doing.
One of the first of the businesses that have set up in the unit are City Treasures which sells a range of collectables including jewellery and model trains.
According to Mr Reeks, he was told by owner Claire McAtee and staff that they had already experienced more customers in a few hours in Caldicot than at their store on Commercial Street in Newport.
Another businesses that have temporarily moved into the unit is AMG Digital Print Solutions, which was previously based at Dewstow Golf Club.
Andrew Gardiner, owner of the company, said that the project gives businesses a chance to bypass ‘harsh business rates’ to test the trading waters and described the project as a ‘cracking idea’.
Monmouthshire County Council provided funds of £4,446 for ‘Caldicot Goes Pop!’ in May as part of the Section 106 money received from the nearby Asda.
Council chairman Jim Higginson, who attended the launch with Caldicot Mayor David Evans, said: “It’s an ideal opportunity for these businesses to test the market.
“Having these shops here and selling what they sell saves the people of Caldicot a trip out to places like Newport.
“Aaron and his team have been working their guts out to make this town centre more vibrant so it has my full support.”
The full article can be found here