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.

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Words of Advice

  • 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

  • I also felt that the event could have been more rigorously promoted, particularly during the three market days. It became apparent that the public were not aware of the event taking place in their high street and that they did not understand what it was for. This could have been tackled by posters throughout the town and in shop windows in the lead up and during the event.

    TestTown 2015 Participant

  • It would be great if towns had a means of showcasing local talent all year round to show local shoppers and public what there is up and coming in terms of potential business.

    TestTown 2015 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.