Using Vacant Spaces : a successful case study

Rotherham Business Vitality Initiative

Location: Rotherham

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council developed a series of Business Vitality Initiatives aimed at attracting business and customer spend back into the town centre, which had been negatively impacted by major regional shopping destinations Sheffield and Leeds.

Initiatives included a successful advertising campaign through traditional media outlets as well as business support agencies, banks and in local shop windows, all aimed to increasing footfall. They also supported new retailers with opportunities to test trade, helping them shape their business model and securing finance to take the next steps, whilst using vacant high street units and bringing vibrancy back to the area. The Council took a three year lease on a prominent vacant unit where new start businesses would sub-let popup shops on flexible terms, benefiting from fully fitted out units, rent-free periods, one-to-one mentoring and free training through the National Skills Academy for Retail.