Empty shop to be turned into festive pop-up for traders

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A formerly empty shop in Bath will be transformed into a festive pop-up shopping experience for seven weekends.

A venue at 15 New Bond Street is being used by local craft traders to share products with shoppers on the weekend as well as being the council’s letting property hub from Mondays to Thursdays.

The property hub provides a way for the council to directly promote its property portfolio to businesses in Bath supporting them to thrive and driving the regeneration of the city centre as part of a regeneration project.

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The traders are also making use of 15 Cheap Street, a vacant unit where the council opened its High Street Hub in June to support local businesses to thrive as they recover from the effects of the pandemic.

The first two weekends of the festive shopping experience which launched on November 5 saw Slouchy, Planty Kate, Nido Handmade, Bobbi Handmade Children’s Clothes, Scout and Sage Spirits and Kabisa African Creations take over the New Bond Street shop.

There has been high demand with all seven weekends in both pop-up shops booked within two days of bookings opening.

Councillor Kevin Guy, council leader, said: “Our commercial property hub is a vibrant space where we can make the most of promoting the assets we are fortunate to have in Bath, attracting new business and helping our high streets to thrive.

“The pop-up shops are showcasing these letting opportunities as well as bringing an even richer Christmas shopping experience to residents and visitors in Bath, encouraging more people to shop local.”

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The pop-up shops are part of the council’s Vacant Units Action Project to breathe new life into the city centre, supporting local business and encouraging footfall. It is funded from £245,000 of Phase 1 funding, awarded to the council by the West of England Combined Authority’s high streets recovery fund.

Products on offer over the coming weeks include jewellery, pet products, candles, clothing, spirits and Christmas décor.

Lisa Doerr, founder of Slouchy, said: “We are delighted to be part of the festivities and opportunities organised by the council. Slouchy is an e-commerce start-up clothing brand and it’s great that they support young companies such as ours.

“Slouchy will be hosting a drinks preview evening for its new lounge and nightwear range at 15 New Bond Street on November 19 from 5.30pm – 7.30pm. All welcome. RSVP: charlotte@slouchy.com.”

Kate Hooker of PlantyKate said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with women in business and creating a unique pop-up shopping experience at 15 New Bond Street with our brilliant community of makers to share our gorgeous and sustainable creativity.

“Our mission is to lift the senses & raise the mood for a brighter 2022! Shop small, shop local. Live better and brighter!”

Dan Norris, West of England Metro Mayor, said: “High streets are the beating heart of our communities, and the combined authority I lead is proud to support this initiative.

“It’s a great way to encourage people to shop local and is sure to spread some festive cheer. It’s going to make Bath an even better place to shop – I’ll be popping down myself when I get round to doing my Christmas shopping!”

The pop-up shops are open Fridays to Sundays from 10am-5pm.

The commercial property hub and the high street hub’s opening hours are 9am-5pm.

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