Christmas Pop-ups and new businesses boost Shrewsbury west end

New retail and restaurant businesses are breathing new life into the west end of Shrewsbury.

A Carluccio’s Christmas shop, a brand new bar restaurant and a pop-up wedding dress and celebration wear retailer are among four businesses taking over empty premises in Shoplatch.

The new lettings will bring new life to shops beneath Shrewsbury Market Hall – some of which have been empty for years – and come after Shropshire Council took over the management of the building earlier this year and stepped up efforts to attract local businesses.

“This is great news for Shrewsbury. It is going to bring new and exciting businesses that will complement the existing shops, bars and eateries and help to regenerate this part of town,” said David Turner, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for resources.

“Traditionally the shops below the Market Hall, in Shoplatch and Claremont Street, have been marketed towards national companies. However, Shropshire Council has been keen to support and attract local businesses. We’re delighted to have Christmas pop-ups in shops that would otherwise be empty over the period. They will create a buzz and bring new interest to the area.”

Carluccio’s and Strictly Party were to open their doors this week. A new independent bar restaurant, which is yet to be named, is expected to open in early December. It plans to open as a pop-up until the New Year, then it hopes to launch as a permanent venue in the spring.

Carluccio’s Christmas pop-up shop is selling a selection of its own brand, seasonal, luxury food and drink gift boxes, hampers and treats. It is the second year that the restaurant chain, founded by TV chef and Italian food guru Antonio Carluccio, has opened pop-up Christmas shops in towns around the UK. It will be a first for Shrewsbury and the pop-up will remain open until December 28.

Strictly Party, which opens on Friday November 13, is a pop-up dress shop selling a range of brand new end-of-line dresses, including wedding and prom gowns and mother-of-the bride outfits, at vastly discounted prices. At least 50 per cent of the profits of each sale will be used to support the work of the Relate charity in Shropshire.

Shop manager Jane Jervis said: “We’ll be here until Christmas and everything will have a fantastic bargain price tag. There will also be party wear accessories to match the great range of dresses on sale. Everything is likely to sell very quickly.”

Shropshire Council and letting agent Cooper Green Pooks, acting on its behalf, pulled out all the stops to help Strictly Party move in at very short notice, taking just two days from the initial meeting to handing over the keys.

Alice Walton, Agency Surveyor of Cooper Green Pooks, said: “We are delighted to be able to secure these short term tenancies on behalf of our client Shropshire Council. Shops remain available to lease on a long-term basis and we urge retailers looking for premises to come and speak to us.”

A hearing specialist company is also planning to move into one of the Market Hall shops.