A group set up in Keith to assist in the regeneration of the town have opened a new pop-up shop as part of their efforts and are inviting applicants for free one-month leases.
The Keith Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) was established three years ago with an overall objective of boosting the town’s economy and built environment on a long-term basis.
Repair and restoration works have been undertaken by the scheme on key traditional buildings around the Mid Street conservation area, while a small grant scheme has been made to property owners for external repairs to traditional characters and features.
Part of the remit was the creation of ‘pop-up shops’ in a bid to alleviate the effects of shop vacancy rates in Mid Street. This allowed a shop to continue in temporary short-term use until such time as it was sold and taken over by permanent owners.
The first unit used at 147 Mid Street proved highly successful and was booked solidly on a month by month basis – and when that sold in April the project moved to a second premises at 175 Mid Street.
Ross McCleary, the Keith CARS officer, said: “The basis of the pop-up shop project is that Keith CARS takes over the lease of an empty shop for free.
“We then allow start-up businesses, internet traders, existing businesses that are thinking about moving to Mid Street or community projects to use the shop free of charge with the exception of electricity and water costs. This operates for periods of up to one month.
“The previous shop at 147 Mid Street proved to be a big success and was booked out solid to the end of august. That shop sold in April and we moved to the new shop at 175 Mid Street in July to accommodate the bookings we already had and to allow for more small businesses to take advantage of the scheme.
“Since July we have had Laura Westville Embroidery & Sew Art, Dogstar Cards and Papershift hand papermaking workshops operating from the shop.
“Now we have bookings in the pop-up shop available in August, October and November which we are very keen to promote so that businesses in Moray can take advantage of the project.”
Anyone interested in taking up the offer should contact Ross McCleary on 01343 563549 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.