Why Do it
Organising and running a TestTown event is hard work. It is a simple concept, but not a simple event. There are many layers to it from forming local working partnerships with organisations from different sectors, engaging and developing young businesses, negotiating pop-up leases with private landlords to the actual hands-on setting up and de-rigging of the event. So why would you do it? To answer that, we strongly believe it can produce a number of benefits for your place and your community.
Showcases your place – TestTown is about celebrating your place and finding new uses for unused spaces or areas that have been neglected or forgotten about.
Enables New Businesses to Have a Go– Allowing new businesses to test out their ideas in a low-risk, free trading environment is something which we believe is very important. It allows entrepreneurs the freedom to be creative and try out their ideas with nothing to lose.
Gets the Wider Community Involved – TestTown gives a wider group of people the opportunity to think about and be part of designing the future of their town. TestTown was not created specifically as a community engagement tool. However, it is this aspect of the project that the local TestTown hosts and participants have found particularly beneficial.
Low Risk– TestTown is all about creating a risk-free environment for new business to try out their ideas in a town centre space. However, one of the first things to keep in mind is that these events are also low risk.
It’s fun!- If you are still not convinced this is the best bit… running and participating in a TestTown event is fun! It requires a great deal of energy from all involved but gives a huge sense of satisfaction at the end.
Words of Advice
The younger generation is the future, so spending the time to encourage them to care and solve problems regarding the high street is a wonderful step forward.
TestTown 2014 Participant
Great experience for young people. Young people have a bad reputation in my home town so TestTown allowed us to show we had something more to give and that we were striving to achieve life goals.
TestTown 2015 Participant
Life changing/ life affirming experience –finalists really went on a life journey’
TestTown 2013 Host
You will never learn what we have learned this week in a college room or in a lecture hall, from a book or off the internet – it’s a real life experience and it has been invaluable.
TestTown 2015 Participant
The animation of the town centre through pop-ups and performances created a wonderful atmosphere for new and returning shoppers.
TestTown 2015 Host