Would your business like to take a first step into Wantage town centre at the Flashop pop up shop?

Wantage’s successful Flashop pop-up shop has a new home, and businesses who’d like to make use of the space are being asked to put in an expression of interest.

Wantage’s town team have reached agreement in principle with the landlords of the former Nonoy’s Oriental Store unit in the Arbery Arcade, and their agent, Tim Parr at Parker Parr, to re-launch Flashop there for three months. Now they’re finalising costings and talking to businesses keen to hire the space and give themselves a Wantage town centre presence. Tim Parr, Director at Parker Parr (www.parkerparr.com), commented: “The Flashop concept is a tremendous initiative and offers creative young retail businesses the chance to street-test their product ranges as a stepping stone to taking more traditional leasing opportunities. Arbery Arcade is a well-trodden route to Costa and the Market Place and Flashop’s new dynamic retail space will add to its appeal, and hopefully some of its successful new businesses will roll on to take their own units in The Arcade as they come on stream.”

Commercial agent Neil Wild, who is leading negotiations on the Arbery Arcade initiative for Wantage’s town team, says: “Since two of our 2013 Flashop pop up businesses took on the unit it was in on Mill Street themselves, we’ve been keen to re-launch in one of the remaining empty shops in town. This is an attractive unit on a key route for footfall in and out of the town centre for people who use the Civic Hall car park, and we’re looking forward to seeing the first pop up businesses in there.”

Businesses who’d like to express an interest in hiring the space can contact Neil via neil@wild-property.co.uk.

Wantage Town Mayor and chairman of the Joint Economic Forum (JEF), Fiona Roper, said: “The Flashop initiative has been a real success story and it’s great to see it extended into new premises. Wantage is bucking the trend compared with other market towns, with new independent shops opening. I’m pleased that the Council’s support of these initiatives is paying off.”

Since it opened at 18a Mill Street in July 2013, Flashop (www.facebook.com/wantageflashop) has hired space to 24 businesses in agreement with that unit’s landlords, Wantage Investments and their managing agents Bushbuy Ltd, on a fee-paying licence agreement. In January 2014 Clare Offill and Dana Johnson took on the unit directly for their businesses Soaps ‘n’ Soaks and Occasions, after twice popping up there. They’re the second pair of businesses in Flashop who’ve gone on to take a unit direct with the landlords. The first popupsters, Cotswold Kids and Valentina’s ShoeBox, have a licence in the neighbouring 18 Mill Street.

Flashop is one of a series of town vitality initiatives for Wantage being driven by a partnership of the Vale of White Horse District Council, Wantage Town Council and Wantage & District Chamber of Commerce through the JEF, and town team co-ordinators Mim Norvell and Iain Nicholson.