Budding entrepreneurs are being given an opportunity to test their businesses in Ipswich town centre.
The Borough Council, with Government funding, is working with the Buttermarket Shopping Centre, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise UK to offer entrepreneurs a retail unit in the shopping centre for a trial period.
They will pay no rent, business rates or insurance on the retail incubator during the trial – so they can concentrate their efforts on selling their ideas to customers. All the entrepreneurs will have to pay is a small contribution of £20 per week to cover the utilities bills.
The unit will be located in a prime position and is the perfect platform for people to showcase their products and make direct contact with customers as they pass through the centre daily.
Ipswich Borough Council and its partners hope to encourage:
* Interest in entrepreneurship and trial enterprising ideas;
* Turn an empty retail space into an attractive pro-entrepreneurship presence for the local community ;
* Provoke public interest into entrepreneurship through retail.
There has already been some interest expressed – if you want to have a go application form please contact Cari Hodkinson, of the Council’s Economic Development service, on 01473 432215 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Councillor Richard Atkins, the Borough Council’s Planning & Economic Development portfolio-holder, said: “We do think this is an excellent scheme and want to help people get started in business. The retail incubator could give them that chance and I hope we do get more applications.”
Colin Roberts, Manager of the Buttermarket Shopping Centre, said: "Both the owners of the centre and I are delighted to have the opportunity to be able to help out with the Retail Start-up initiative. The retail economy has endured some very difficult times over the last few years with many well known High Street names being lost to us, this initiative will give budding entrepreneurs the opportunity to test their business idea and skills in a real environment and if successful could lead to them taking the next step of opening a shop of their own and who knows the project could potentially produce one of the next big names in retail.”
John Dugmore, Chief Executive of the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, said: “The Suffolk Chamber of Commerce is delighted to be involved with this Retail Start-up project, we think this is an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs wanting to start or grow their own business in the town centre. We want to be able to give business people a chance to trial their ideas in a real environment and hope this will be the first steps to opening their own shop and becoming another successful entrepreneur within the town.”
Cllr Richard Atkins, tel: 01473 432511
Cllr Carole Jones, opposition Labour Group spokeswoman, tel: 01473 210586
Member since: 10th July 2012
Ipswich word of mouth specialist, promotes and markets the best businesses in Ipswich. Passionately supporting local businesses, organisations and events