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Moray start-ups urged to trial business ideas through pop-up shop scheme

By Lorna Thompson

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MORAY entrepreneurs and small businesses are being invited to take part in a new pop-up shop scheme.

Start-up businesses are being offered the chance to use shops which are sitting empty for up to four weeks at no cost, other than utilities, in the scheme which will run until January 2023.

Shops will be available in Forres, Keith, Elgin, Buckie, Lossiemouth, Dufftown and Aberlour, subject to suitable premises being available.

Through the scheme, current or would-be business owners can get a new business off the ground, trial their merchandise or target a different audience to assess whether a full-time presence within a town would be viable for them.

Chair of Moray Council's Economic Development and Infrastructure Services Committee, Cllr Graham Leadbitter, said: "Pop-up shops provide an ideal platform for businesses to try out a physical high-street presence and raise the profile of their business before committing to anything long-term.

A successful pop-up shop scheme previously ran in Keith.
A successful pop-up shop scheme previously ran in Keith.

"The scheme is equally beneficial for property owners as it brings their empty properties back into use and may lead to a longer term lease/sale – a win-win situation for all involved.

"As our town centres continue to face challenging times, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and changing shopping habits, it's important to help small or independent businesses develop and thrive.

"I look forward to seeing more of our local businesses overcome some of the issues facing them while bringing more shoppers into town centres."

The scheme is part of Moray's wider Economic Recovery Plan and has been developed in response to a rise in vacant town-centre retail units and the number of new start-up businesses in the area.

A previously successful pop-up scheme in Keith saw the town's Mid Street Conservation Area move from the highest shop vacancy rate in Moray to the lowest.

For more information, guidance and an Expression of Interest form email popup@moray.gov.uk.

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