Local small businesses are being given a chance of a lifetime to showcase their products in a prime city centre location - without costly overheads - with the launch of the Shop in the Square in Wolverhampton.

The Shop is the latest initiative of the High Street Innovation Fund and Wolverhampton Portas Pilot project which is designed to tackle vacant premises in the city centre.

Located in Queen Square, the shop will be managed by Charlotte Clark, a local self-employed designer and maker who will be guiding new start-up businesses on how to develop, market and price their products as well as providing advice on business accounting.

Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration and Prosperity Councillor Peter Bilson said: "This is another example of the innovative way the city is using vacant retail outlets to create new opportunities for local entrepreneurs. This initiative provides a low-cost and low-risk way for local businesses to test their products in the market.

"Ultimately, we will be working towards a sustainable model for the Shop in the Square so that it can continue into 2014, with mentoring support from Charlotte, who has a wealth of experience. We hope some of those who use it will be setting up their own retail outlets over time."

Products to be featured in the shop include many from contestants and winners in the recent Idea2Reality competition and include clothing and accessories, gifts, jams and preserves, chocolates, home décor and much more.

Charlotte added: "As well as retail, we'll use the space to host exhibitions by local art groups, networking events and creative workshops giving new businesses a venue to develop their own ideas within a supportive network."

Shop in the Square is currently being fitted out and is due to open to the public on Saturday 22 June, 2013 and will be open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays until Christmas Eve.

  • released: Tuesday 11 June, 2013