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

  • Make sure you have the commitment from key players in the local area. Without the dedication of the local authority and the City Strategy group, it would not have been possible.

    TestTown 2014 Host

  • 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

  • Eight businesses plus a unit run by school pupils breathed new life into vacant properties in the Bruce Street area for six weeks leading up to Christmas, and graduates from that programme have gone on to set up businesses.

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.