The diversity of the range of independent shops available in Stockton Town Centre is growing, thanks to a new pop-up shop in the town’s Enterprise Arcade.
The space is available to rent on a short-term basis to budding entrepreneurs interested in test trading their retail ideas.
One of the first traders to take advantage of the new facility is Darren Hughes who moved his saddlery and leather goods business into the Enterprise Arcade this week.
Darren retrained in saddlery after an accident at work meant he could no longer work within the construction sector. He has had an interest in saddlery and leather craft for many years, making items for friends and family who have encouraged him to develop his talent into a business venture.
Darren said: “The Enterprise Arcade is a striking building which will naturally attract shoppers so I am really looking forward to trading there. It is an excellent way for me to build up a by customer base by taking advantage of the passing trade at the heart of Stockton Town Centre.”
Stockton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport, Councillor Mike Smith, said: “Through the Enterprise Arcade we want to support as many new, independent businesses as possible to establish themselves as a viable and robust business in Stockton Town Centre.
“The pop-up shop is a fantastic opportunity for people to test their ideas in a real shop environment and take their first step into town centre trading.”
Darren will be carrying out saddlery repairs as well as selling saddles and other items including belts, dog collars and walking sticks throughout this week and next.
Another pop-up trader is already getting ready to follow in his footsteps. Derek Slark Fine Arts Gallery will set up shop in the Arcade in a few weeks offering Stockton shoppers original oil, water colour and acrylic paintings.
35-37 High Street has been renovated and refurbished using funding from Stockton Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund through Stockton’s ‘Grants for Heritage Buildings’ scheme.
The Enterprise Arcade opening hours are Monday-Saturday, 9.30am-5pm.