Banbury’s Business Improvement District (BID) has taken its first steps at improving the town with a pop-up shop scheme in Castle Quay.
The BID has taken a six-month licence to occupy three units at the Market Place end of Castle Quay alongside The Entertainer, on a pop-up shop basis, with the opportunity for an extended period if the project is a success.
It has arisen from one of the priorities Banbury businesses identified in the pre-BID consultation: improving the look of empty units while work continues to let them.
Banbury BID Board chairman, Chris Tymon of Toast Design, said: “The Banbury BID Board are extremely happy to see the start of this very exciting project, and we’re grateful to the team at Castle Quay and its owners, Cherwell District Council, for their support in making this work.
“This project not only opens the doors of some of the town’s empty units, but it allows some of our smaller businesses to showcase their amazing products in a prominent location; this benefits everyone, shoppers, small businesses and Castle Quay.”
The board are working with a range of existing Banbury town centre businesses and organisations to occupy the remaining empty units, with Creative Quarter the first to be opened last week.
The store draws on the abundance of creative and cultural independents within the old town being occupied by six Parsons Street retailers including The Artery art supplies, Comic Connections comics, Fancy That gifts, Fellowship of the Needle tattooists, James.M.Photography, and J D’Cruz Bags plus local artists from Church Lane Gallery and E Collins Photography in White Lion Walk.
Photographer James Martin, said: “It is wonderful to be a part of this initiative as it has so many wider benefits for the town.”
Don Clark, manager at the Boots Store in Castle Quay and Banbury BID Board member, said: “It is always refreshing to see new initiatives to re-invigorate Castle Quay shopping centre as well as providing an opportunity to others to benefit from the location.
“Empty units have a negative effect on all concerned, so I am pleased that we are taking action to remedy this situation.”
Neil Wild, co-director of town centre specialists Flashop UK Ltd, is co-ordinating the project for Banbury BID.
The team is keen to hear from other town centre businesses who’d like to be involved with the pop-up initiative in the future.
Any town centre business that would be interested in playing a part in future projects should contact Neil via firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07801 164034.