Monday 9th December will see Andover’s fourth pop-up shop occupier moving into the premises at 4 Bridge Street as Hampshire Credit Union (HCU) take it over in the two week run up to Christmas.
This move follows successful stints over the past nine weeks by three local businesses:
The pop-up shop has been organised by the Test Valley Borough Council as part of its response to the Andover Summit.
The HCU offer advice and services to people who may find it difficult to access mainstream financial services and is a financial co-operative owned and controlled by its members. It offers current accounts, savings, employee saving schemes, ISAs and affordable loans, which are ethical and local.
The credit union enables people to save money safely and gain a good rate of interest on their savings, avoiding the need to borrow money from loan sharks. HCU will be taking over the shop Monday to Friday from 9th to 23rd December.
Councillor Ian Carr, Leader of the Council, said: “I’m delighted that Hampshire Credit Union is taking over the pop-up shop for the two remaining weeks prior to Christmas. The organisation offers a valuable year-round service to Test Valley residents who maybe experiencing financial difficulty. Having the credit union in the heart of the town, just prior to Christmas, will enable residents to drop-in and find out how best to manage their finances while supporting Andover by shopping locally.”
“It is through the Council’s efforts and partnership working between the four pop-up shop occupiers, Stratfords Commercials, the letting agent and Prosigns UK, a sign producer, that we have been able to provide this opportunity. I am grateful to all of them for continuing to support this initiative.”
Tammy Hillman for Hampshire Credit Union, said: “The pop-up shop provides a fantastic opportunity for the credit unit to deliver advice and services in the heart of the town to the people of Andover. The current economic climate has led to an increase in financial difficulties for many residents in Test Valley and across Hampshire. I would encourage anyone who is concerned about their finances to pop in to learn about the help we can provide through such services as affordable loans and our Jam Jar account, to better manage their finances. I am grateful to the Council for giving us this opportunity.”
The Council has been pursuing a pop-up shop for some time since it emerged as one of the initiatives from the Government inspired review of town centres by Mary Portas. This makes practical use of the empty premises, which is especially important in the run up to Christmas. It also gives local businesses an opportunity to try town centre retail and gain new customers, while adding to the local economy and vibrancy of the town.
As the pop-up shop has proved so successful, the Council is keen to continue working in partnership with letting agents, private landlords other local independent businesses to facilitate another pop-up shop in the town centre using a vacant retail unit.