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The end of identikit high streets?

May 27, 2009

KiosKiosKThe Hemingways have decided to set up shop in front of London’s City Hall. Well, they are setting up the shop, but they want creative types to come and sell their wares there.

KiosKiosK is a “pop up shop” that will provide temporary retail space for start up businesses in central London. Over the summer it will offer rent-free space for people with creative products to sell such as ceramics, artworks, creative gifts and fashion, in an effort to help new businesses to get a step-up on the ladder to success.

It is supported by the Mayor of London and the London Sustainable Development Commission’s London Leaders programme. The idea is that it form a template to be copied across the UK.

This is along the same lines as government policy to reinvigorate town centres that risk becoming desolate wastelands as retailers shut up shop and leave.

Planners have been encouraged to extend simplified planning zones to allow change of use so that empty shops can be taken over by community centres and artists who need space to exhibit.

Perhaps this will lead to a society not so hell bent on consuming, or perhaps it will tempt people back into town centres who will be more likely to part with their cash once there, than when holed up at home with the hatches firmly battened down.

One welcome effect might be that towns will develop distinct characters of their own again instead of providing unadventurous, identical models the length and breadth of the country.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Town spanner permalink
    May 28, 2009 2:25 pm

    Sounds like a terrible idea. It’s basically a jazzed-up kiosk then? How innovative.

  2. TUFTED JAKE permalink
    May 29, 2009 3:22 pm

    A cart with a roof where overpriced trinkets are flogged to gullible tourists. I’m sure London could do with more of them….


  3. May 29, 2009 3:50 pm

    “Perhaps this will lead to a society not so hell bent on consuming”

    It’s a shop isn’t it!

  4. Katie Daubney permalink
    May 29, 2009 4:07 pm

    Yes, but community centres and art galleries aren’t.

  5. June 1, 2009 9:26 am

    Don’t art galleries sell stuff?

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