First business opens in Sheffield's Re:New scheme

The first of Sheffield's new pop-up shops is to open in the city centre at the weekend.

Re:NewThe exciting Re:New scheme is based on an Australian model to help budding entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground. It was launched in the summer and attracted a great deal of interest from potential new businesses.

Rachel Salway will be launching her new Roseannah shop in a balcony unit at Orchard Square, just off Fargate on Saturday (7 November).

Roseannah is driven by style and motivated by fair trade in the fashion industry, forming partnerships with organisations that empower workers worldwide.

Rachel said: "I am very excited about the launch of my new shop in the city centre and I am grateful for all the support I have received to date that will give me an opportunity to showcase my products to a larger group of potential customers.

"We are also a social impact company that empowers survivors of human trafficking in the UK and abroad and I believe this is something that many people sympathise with and will want to support."

Sheffield City Council and the University of Sheffield have been working on small-scale meanwhile uses of buildings in recent years, but the aim now is to take this concept to the next level.

Councillor Leigh Bramall, the Council's Cabinet Member for Business, Skills and Development added: "We have recognised the importance of supporting meanwhile uses for several years now, but we wanted to take this concept to the next level with a more organised scheme developed with city partners.

"Re:New is the result, giving new, independent businesses the opportunity to test their ideas, whilst at the same time enlivening the city’s streets by adding variety, colour and new life to our city centre.

"I wish Rachel every success in her new shop – she has identified a market sector that I am sure many people will support and should benefit from shoppers looking for gifts in the lead up to Christmas."

ReNew is based on the successful Renew Newcastle, Australia initiative led by Marcus Westbury, the celebrated writer, broadcaster, festival director and media maker. Marcus was invited to Sheffield by the University of Sheffield to share his knowledge and inspire others during a series of events last year.

Professor Vanessa Toulmin, from the University of Sheffield who is Chair of Re:New and Director of City Cultural Engagement, commented: “When Marcus visited Sheffield last year he was able to give us a detailed insight into how his home city of Newcastle in Australia, which is known as the city of steel, had been transformed by bringing together landlords of empty buildings with creative professionals wanting to get their businesses off the ground.

"We were confident the concept could work just as well in Sheffield and I'm delighted that we have been able to work with partners in the city to make Re:New happen.

"Saturday’s opening will hopefully be the start of many more pop up shops in the city breathing life back into old buildings and making Sheffield an even more attractive place to live, work and visit."

Several other small businesses are negotiating leases and final details to open pop-up shops in the city centre in the coming months. Many more vacant or underused buildings in the city centre will become active, providing much needed footfall, spend and more varied activities to areas in transition, such as the Sheffield Retail Quarter site and Castlegate.

The aim is to allow new concepts to be tested on a temporary basis, which will hopefully lead to those businesses becoming established for permanent use elsewhere in the city centre.

Crucial knowledge and guidance will be provided by a mentoring group involving partners from across the city, including the Council; University of Sheffield; City Centre BID; Culture Consortium; local landowners, developers and agents; established workspace providers; and independent retailers.

The Re:New project is being funded by the Council’s ‘Keep Sheffield Working Fund’, University of Sheffield and European Regional Development Fund through the North Sea Region and Interreg IVB.