Local Authority Roll Out
TestTown Carrickfergus was delivered by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council in partnership with Carrickfergus Enterprise Agency. This was run over a 2015 bank holiday weekend from a pop-up show based in the heart of Carrickfergus shared by the six participating businesses. This ethos of sharing and working together was emphasised by the local Mayor: ‘I commend you all on the vision and dedication you are showing in ‘going it alone’, but I very much hope that your experience through the TestTown Carrickfergus initiative and through the relationships you strike up together demonstrates that you are actually not alone – there is support and goodwill out there and that others are also walking the same journey.’
Spurred by the success of TestTown Carrickfergus, Mid and East Antrim Council decided to roll it out across the Borough, investing a further £6,000.
Spurred by the success of TestTown Carrickfergus, Mid and East Antrim Council decided to roll it out across the Borough, investing a further £6,000. ‘The Pop-Up Shop Mid and East Antrim Programme’ went onto support three further TestTown events in Ballymena, Carrickfergus and Lorne in 2016. This allowed a further 15 new businesses to be supported and test their ideas and consider the viability of a long-term future within the selected town centres.
Words of Advice
My best bit would be the engagement with the competitors during the online surgeries. A few lines of communication made all the difference in their applications and enthusiasm.
TestTown 2013 Host
It was an amazing location, yet because of the distance between finalists, we felt a little neglected because we so far out of the way. Try and have all finalists a fairly equal distance apart
TestTown 2014 Participant
People are not shopping at individual brands, they are shopping at destinations. The people that will win at this are those that start packaging pop-up with infrastructure. The serious problem with pop-up space is that most landlords do not offer this. Successful pop-up destinations such as Boxpark in Shoreditch, E1, and London Union’s Street Feast, E8, provide basic shop fit-out, marketing and customers, which is a much more viable model for tenants.’
Nick Russell, We Are Pop-Up