The event we held in Dundee on 24 June to promote a pop up retail culture in the city was a great success, attracting a large and committed audience who listened to some great speakers and participated in four diverse workshops. We have put together this Storify on the event which captures its atmosphere, and details some of the key points made by speakers.
So what is the outcome of this event?
First, people are invited to put themselves on a register of interest. Simply download and return this enquiry_form. If you are proposing a food and/or drink pop up then additionally download and return the PopUpDundee_EnvironmentalHealthForms.
Second, a number of pop up market opportunities are being provided. These include a two day pop up market on November 20 and 21. Prior to this event there will be smaller events to help test and refine the concept and the offer to shoppers. Those on the register of interest will be contacted to advise them of the opportunities.
Third, the City Council is working with property companies and developers to help open up access to suitable buildings and other spaces in the city.
Finally, there are initial plans underway to hold further events at which we can learn lessons from initiatives elsewhere
And now it’s over to you…
Pop Up Dundee never has been about “the council” making pop ups happen. The City Council certainly can play a catalytic role in opening up opportunities, bringing people together and encouraging enterprise, but ultimately this is about providing space for creative enterprise to flourish and lead a renewal of the city.
So here is the idea…
City Centres are in trouble – and not just ‘post-industrial’ cities. Recent visits to affluent cities in the south east of England reveal the exact same problems that we face in Dundee – vacant shops, growing urban decay and a general tiredness and lack of vitality. Put simply, the economic model that in the past sustained urban centres no longer works. We shop differently, and expect different things of our city centres. We need to reinvent them.
Pop up enterprises have proven their worth as low cost ways of testing new business ideas and encouraging entrepreneurship. They add hugely to the life and vibrancy of towns and cities, and explore creative new ways of using spaces and places. How about throwing in a local currency?
Brixton and Bristol are among those places that have their own currency. Research suggests that use of a local currency raises cash flow within the independent business sector and boosts local employment. Not only does this contribute to a more sustainable local economy, but it provides strong social bonds within communities.
Now is the time for bold creative ideas and above all actions that can make new things happen in our city. If you want to help make change happen in Dundee, then get in touch.
Meanwhile, here’s some useful information!
- How pop up shops can benefit big retailers
- Guide to setting up pop up shops by Caerphilly County Borough Council
- Shopify’s ultimate guide to pop up shops
- A study investigating the pop-up retail industry, its contribution to the UK economy and the barriers it faces
- Handbook on setting up and evaluating a local currency by the New Economics Foundation