New Pop-Up Shop in Horsham declared open to reinvent the high street

02 Nov 2021

Pop Up Horsham, an exciting new retail outlet hosting a fresh and changing mix of young independent local businesses, opened to customers today (2 November) at 12noon in West Street, Horsham.

The opening ceremony was carried out by Horsham District Council Chairman Cllr David Skipp and Cabinet Member for the Local Economy Cllr Chris Brown.

The Covid-19 pandemic affected many local businesses but one positive trend from the crisis was a surge in new business start- ups across the Horsham District.

Pop Up Horsham is creating an ideal opportunity to support those who have been made redundant and started a new business within the past eighteen months – enabling them to ‘test the water’ in the field of retail trading.

The initiative has been developed and is managed and run, by Horsham District Council as part of its post-COVID Economic Recovery Strategy, operating under the banner of ‘reinventing our high street’.

The Council has seen many entrepreneurs starting and growing businesses across the District throughout the pandemic, many of them trading online. Pop Up Horsham enables business types from many different sectors to gain their first experience of trading on the high street, adding to their business skills in the process.

In addition to retail trading, participants can also take part in various business training programmes at the Pop Up outlet from a range of experienced training partners.

But it is not just about businesses, as the hub is also supporting entrepreneurs wanting to use the high street space for activities such as yoga and fitness classes, and Sussex Green Living will also be on site to educate and inform customers about tackling climate change and helping the environment.

Speaking at the opening event, Horsham District Council Cabinet Member for the Local Economy Cllr Chris Brown said:

I am really excited that our Pop Up Horsham outlet is now open for business and welcoming customers.

This opening marks a huge opportunity for so many of the participating businesses and is another key achievement in the Council’s ongoing ‘Buy Local’ campaign to support the local economy.

High streets are changing nationally and as a council we are responding to those changes proactively.

My thanks go out to the many national, regional and local providers who have supported us in the development of this venture, and those providing ongoing mentorship and training opportunities such as Enterprise Nation, The Business Hothouse and the West Sussex Retail Hub, to name but a few.

Pop Up Horsham is a platform for any type of business and any owner with a desire to upskill and gain experience in a high street setting, with minimum risk.

On behalf of the Council and its team of consultants, I wish everyone choosing to be associated with the project every success in their chosen endeavours and I encourage as many of you as possible to come along and see all the great products, services and activities on offer.

Pop Up Horsham Founder and Project Manager, Charley Crocker believes the combination of providing shop floor retail opportunities, creating a supportive network of likeminded start-ups and businesses, coupled with one-to-one personal mentoring provides a strong platform. She commented:

It can be extremely daunting for businesses to take the leap to running a shop, dealing with staffing, merchandising, finances etc. Pop Up Horsham provides a welcoming, affordable and supportive environment.

The BBC came along to film the opening. Watch out on the BBC One Show for coverage about Pop Up Horsham next week (week commencing 8 November).