Top of the Pops Shops in Camden
By Muso187 | Friday, July 08, 2011, 15:33
Camden Town Unlimited, in partnership with Camden Council, are celebrating the success of a an innovative scheme, which is seeing disused shop fronts turned into pop-up displays of art and individuality to help breathe new life into Camden retail life during this difficult economic climate. This award winning scheme has been successful at making Camden's shops 'top of the pops'.
One of the original pop up shops at Chalk Farm Rd Camden Town
The pop-up shop project started in June 2009 with the aim of tackling the issue of empty high street shops during the recession. Three vacant shops were used by a series of artists and traders to create unique exhibitions and temporary retail experiences. The vacant units in Chalk Farm Rd, Camden Rd and Parkway attracted up to 100 visitors each a day, and nearby businesses reported an increase in trading. Also the vacant shops used, which had been empty for 6 months previous, were snapped up by permanent tenants within weeks of the displays opening. Camden council are hailing the project as an important force contributing to the reduction in vacant rental units in Camden over 2009/10, against the national trend which is seeing more vacant rental units across the capital in recent years. For its positive impact on the local retail community the pop-up shop project in Camden was recognised with the 'Improving the business mix' award at the annual ATCM awards in Cambridge on 30 June this year.
Following the success of the original pop-up shops Camden Town Unlimited, supported by Camden Council, opened Collective — a converted warehouse space near Mornington Crescent that Camden Town Unlimited uses to house some 40 start-up creative businesses — with the aim of establishing a permanent pop-up shared work and exhibition space to nurture new creative businesses.
As a supporter of the individuality of the Camden's shopping experience I really applaud this kind of support from the local council and Camden Town Unlimited, as a way of supporting the retail community during this difficult recession period, and engaging local people and businesses in that effort. It is very inclusive and maintains the spirit of pioneering independence that Camden has always had.