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PopUp Britain, a scheme to give new online businesses a high street presence, is coming to Ashford's Park Mall.

A national scheme to turn empty retail space into a place for entrepreneurial new businesses is coming to Ashford.

PopUp Britain, the retail arm of national enterprise campaign StartUp Britain, is opening PopUp Ashford in Park Mall shopping centre from September.

The shop will be only the second of its type outside London.

Organisers behind the project are now looking for online retail start-ups from the area to take part.

Town Team manager Jo Wynn-Carter added: “Initiatives like PopUp Britain go to the heart of our mission – to continue to make sure we provide opportunities and all the support we can for new businesses to enhance and improve our town centre.

“PopUp Ashford will offer businesses a chance to get onto the high street, meet customers and fellow entrepreneurs and grow their business for the long term.

“We are delighted that PopUp Ashford will find a home here and bring life back into this part of the town centre.”

The pop-up shop will run for six months and new retailers will regularly share the space.

The shop has the capacity to house up to 10 firms, who will also share the costs of operating.

Emma Jones of StartUp Britain
Emma Jones of StartUp Britain

Emma Jones, co-founder of StartUp Britain, said: “Our aim is to give the growing number of online retail start-ups a chance to test out their products in a physical high street environment, talking to their customers face-to-face and getting a feel for demand.

“Our shops not only provide a new shopping experience in the short term, and a buzz to the high street, they also bring a meaningful boost to the local economy for the long term.”

Retailers will range from fashion and home wares, to unique handmade gifts and chocolates.

The day-to-day running of the shop will be the responsibility of Ashford Borough Council on behalf of the Ashford Town Team.

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