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West End launches pop-up programme to give new-gen start-ups opportunity to have presence in central London

Tom Shearsmith
28 May 2021

Westminster City Council, in partnership with New West End Company and The Crown Estate, is launching a Pop-Up Programme to give a new generation of local talent and start-ups the opportunity to open their doors in London’s coveted West End.

The programme will help shape the future of our high streets. It will test innovative concepts through a programme of events, services, and activities in available spaces to encourage people to use spaces in different ways - focussing on engagement and interaction over sales.

On and around Oxford Street, Regent Street and in Mayfair, the 10 vacant units will aim to give forward thinking, sustainable and innovative companies the opportunity to showcase their work on London’s world-famous streets over a period of three months.

The programme looks to attract pioneering businesses that fall into the following four categories:

  • Fashion Laboratories: Giving a new generation of designers the opportunity to reimagine retail and challenge the way we consume fashion under business models that support sustainability.
  • Dreamscapes: Improve customers’ journey and experience of the area via the creation of seasonal immersive spaces.
  • Mixed Reality Spaces: Diversify the existing offer by incorporating mixed reality spaces to create immersive installations.
  • Wellness and wellbeing: Bringing a offer to suit the evolving needs of consumers who are increasingly looking to fit wellness and wellbeing into their daily lives.

To further support the promotion of successful applicants, Westminster City Council is offering grants of up to £5,000 to further enhance brand profiles and help fund fitout and installations.

Cllr Matthew Green, Cabinet Member for Business, Licensing and Planning at Westminster City Council, said: “From Alexander McQueen to Hussein Chalayan, emerging British designers have long turned to the West End to start their businesses. Now, Westminster City Council’s pop-up programme will enable the next generation of creative design and innovation to flourish as we support new businesses and starts-ups to grow and thrive in the heart of the West End. These new and engaging offerings will attract residents and visitors alike back to the world’s leading centre of retail.”

Luciana Magliocco, Associate Director at New West End Company added: “We are ready to embrace and welcome new ideas and business models to ensure our district remains relevant to future visitors and responds to changing customer trends. The temporary new landscape created by the pop-up ventures will help to feed the evolution of the West End’s post-Covid environment and retail and leisure ecosystem.”

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