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

  • Life changing/ life affirming experience –finalists really went on a life journey’

    TestTown 2013 Host

  • I would advertise the event on local radio stations and also in the local newspaper to create local interest in the town to raise awareness of the event. As not everyone who shops in the town uses the internet.’

    TestTown 2015 Participant

  • 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

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.