TestTown Stories

TestTown events have been held in 19 towns and city districts with 280 town center entrepreneurs graduating through a TestTown week and moving on to trial and run more than 117 new businesses. They make money. They create jobs. They breathe life back into the areas they break into. If barriers are broken down, there is very little they cannot do.  You can read their inspiring stories on the map. This portal has been designed to support, guide and inspire organisations and partnerships to have a go at running TestTown events.  We would love to hear about your events and include you in our TestTown map.

Feedback Form


Words of Advice

  • We underestimated a lot or things which needed to be considered for the units and ended up doing the cleaning etc. for a couple on our own. All a good learning curve though for future initiatives and we’d make sure we added more lead in time to them.

    TestTown 2014 Host

  • Have plenty of time to be on hand during trading as working with lots of stakeholders and businesses is very time consuming. It is key to manage the expectations of the participants e.g. they will not all make lots of money during their first day of trade.

    TestTown 2015 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

Highlights from the recent years

Five Ways To Supercharge Your TestTown

We believe there are five things which would Supercharge your TestTown:

  1. Every town should create a clear, supported pathway into trading and opening up a shop  for new town centre entrepreneurs.
  2. Every town should have a permanent pop-up facility in a viable trading space which offers flexible lease arrangements up to a year for new town centre entrepreneurs to learn.
  3. Every town should work, within their means, to reduce financial barriers in reduced rates and rents for new traders during their first year of business.
  4. Every town should carry out a regular (every five years) entrepreneur-led consultation which would feed into a business-led strategy for town centre development and business support.
  5. Every town should develop a hyperlocal cross-sector partnership to lead local innovation, ensuring that agencies, businesses, and residents are all powerful in leading local development.