Up pops a first for Selkirk
SELKIRK’S first “pop-up shop” was launched on Tuesday night when more than 50 people attended the opening of outgoing town crier Morris Manson and his wife Jane’s premises at 48 Market Place as a gallery for local artists.
Selkirk Chamber of Trade and Commerce chairman Will Haegeland said: “This is the first pop-up shop of hopefully several more. We want to create a more vibrant town centre and a bit of excitement.”
The idea of pop-up shops is to allow businesses to rent premises for a day, a week or a month so they can try out an idea without being tied to long-term commitments.
Mr Haegeland said: “A pop-up-shop is not only for retailers, but can be for any community groups, arts and exhibitions, crafts, tourist attractions and institutions – anyone who would benefit from high street presence over a specific period of time.”
“We have some 30 per cent loss of footfall in our high street, an increasing number of empty retail places in the town, a huge bleed of shoppers going to neighbouring towns and we have people commenting on the internet that Selkirk is a scruffy little place.
“That’s something that needs to be addressed and we can try to do that by creating a town centre people want to come to.”
Contrary to fears by some local businesses that the pop-ups might hit their trade, Mr Haegeland said: “This is to create new opportunities for the retailers already here. It’s not to steal from others. If we can reinstate footfall, it’s up to businesses to build on that opportunity.”
The Mansons already have others interested in using 48 Market Place. The couple came up with the idea about the same time as the traders – over a glass of wine while on holiday in Marseilles. “We were just trying to think what to do with the premises. It’s to try and bring something new into Selkirk,” said former nurse Jane.
Local MSP John Lamont said at the opening: “By allowing local craftspeople and food producers to use the shops, it can not only reinvigorate these empty premises, but provide an opportunity for small businesses to promote and sell their goods.”
Ettrick and Yarrow Valleys regeneration development officer Julie Nock, also at the opening, said artists and crafters in the Valleys are hoping to link up with the pop-up shop movement in the town.
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Weather for Selkirk
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 3 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: North west