Heart-up competition launch for Old Town

Leamington Old Town promotional poster.
Leamington Old Town promotional poster.

Would-be entrepreneurs are being challenged to put forward ideas for businesses which will enhance retail in Old Town.

The area’s Portas Pilots team is launching a Heart-up competition on Thursday in which a fledgling business or social enterprises could win support in the early stages of its growth.

This would include rent and rates underwriting, basic shop refitting assistance, a six-month salary for one employee, owner or manager, mentoring, business advice and legal support, accountancy and financial support and shared shop front refurbishment costs.

Old Town team leader Jeremy Ireland said: “Support will be tailored to the specific business, and to the premises involved and is unlikely to include all of those items mentioned above, but we will endeavour to provide as much as we can.

“Applicants are required to explain how their vision of the development of their business or social enterprise will sustainably meet these criteria over time.

“Applicants are encouraged to explain how the retail area, and customers for that retail area will benefit at each year end for the first three years. “

Business and social enterprises applicants will be marked on four specific criteria which will include the business being a destination store which will bring custom to the area, how long customers will stay at the store to shop and browse, retention of customers over a period of time and how the business will improve and add something new to the shopping area.

Application surgeries will be held on Tuesday and on Tuesday April 22.

Entries must be made by Tuesday April 22 by 9am and the winners will be announced on Friday May 2.

Email applications can be sent to heartup@leamingtonoldtown.com before the closing date.

The team is also working on up to three sites for pop-up shops over the summer and contact is welcome for this.