New scheme launched to keep vacant shops open in Holt
- Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC
A new scheme to cut down on the number of empty shops on a town's high street has been launched.
Charity Love Holt kickstarted the initiative in a bid to keep the high street new, vibrant and actively trading.
When a shop becomes empty, the landlord will be given the option to sell the lease to Love Holt for one pound.
The shop will then be opened with a new pop-up business while the landlord finds a new tenant for the building.
Iain Wilson, a Holt councillor, said: "It's giving businesses the opportunity to see what Holt is like. Somebody might be thinking out opening a shop in the town, but are still unsure.
"This scheme gives people a chance to dip their toe in the water, they might not end up liking it, but some might love it and decide to take over the shop full time."
Love Holt is a charity that campaigns on key issues for the town and seeks grants and funding to carry out positive change in Holt.
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A minimum pop-up time will be set at six weeks, giving the landlord the chance to find a new occupier and the high street to stay fresh.
Mr Wilson described the scheme as "a win, win for the landlord".
He said: " It means that they don't have to pay business rates for a shop that isn't trading."
The first pop-up shop taking part in the scheme will be Lottie Day, who designs and produces a range of screen printed textile products for the home, featuring original illustrations inspired by her home county of Norfolk.
She said: "I currently run my business from my parents' garage. I mostly sell my products online but I'm now going to move my whole studio into the new pop-up shop in Holt.
"I'm excited to see how it works out."
There are currently 14 shops in the town that are vacant and Love Holt will have the opportunity to approach at least nine of the landlords with the new scheme.
Mr Wilson said: "I think Lottie's shop will give Holt something a little bit different, something that we don't already have."
Lottie Day will open her business in Hoppers Yard on Wednesday, July 24.
For more information about the scheme visit: www.loveholt.com