There are many benefits to landlords when an empty shop is used for temporary activity. These include:

  • A safe and legal way for landlords to reduce the costs of an empty property, making savings on rates, utilities and insurance.
  • Increased security through occupancy, reduced vandalism and fly-posting, and having someone keep an eye on your property.
  • Increased chance of finding tenants, as the property is kept in good order and decor, potential tenants see the property in a positive light, and pop-up occupants get a chance to trial in a specific space (two of our occupants have gone on to take long-term leases in the properties they popped up in).
  • You make a huge contribution to the local community and will be seen as a good landlord to work with.

Pop Up Penzance will usually take on the liability of business rates, and utilities, on a rent-free basis so your asset value is protected, and you can have your property back when you need it.

Billy OpeningFormerly Stead and Simpson, this very large and high-rated premises had been empty for over 18 months when Pop Up Penzance got the keys. In the 14 months Pop Up Penzance was involved with the shop, it was home to a variety of business, community and arts initiatives.

For example, Bits, Bobs and Books, now in Hayle, were in our first group of pop-uppers, and they wanted a chance to see if their book sales idea had legs, and it only took them two weeks to confirm that it did. Another early project was the Mini-Festival of Cornish Film, a celebration of Cornish film and an opportunity for local people to see the many short films which once made are rarely seen. The Golowan Diaspora Exhibition celebrated Cornish culture overseas. A Passion for Penzance reminded us of the beauty of our quirky town. Pop Up Ping Pong saw people aged 8 – 80 step off the street for a lively diversion from their usual shopping trip. And these are just a few of the many many activities that livened up the town from this one space. Cancer Research UK took the space for a short spill-over Christmas Shop and decided it suited them much better than their previous location and took over the lease in July 2015.

So lots of great stuff took place, the landlord was saved a lot of money and a long-term tenant was found. Win, Win, Win

We had only a brief moment here, as our very first pop-up occupant decided it suited them so well, they very quickly took on a long-term lease. When the landlord approached us, we had two potential pop-uppers available, and luckily we offered the space to Mousehole Fish, at that time selling fish from a van and exploring the idea of a shop, because they have been providing an excellent service ever since, and that was August 2013.

DSC_1224Peasgoods has a significant place in the hearts of Penzance people, as the home of Sir Humphrey Davy, and base for some of his experiments, so people felt very sad when the shop was left empty for over a year. Pop Up Penzance enabled some very exciting initiatives take place in the shop, including the Humphry Davy Experiment – a public consultation about ways of celebrating the great man of our town and developing visitor attractions. Another highlight was the theatrical production Grandfather Frost’s Christmas Depot, created by Mercurial Wrestler with Pop Up Penzance. Children and their families had the chance to meander through magical woodlands and parcel depots on four floors of this building in order to hear the story of why Grandfather Frost was delivering parcels from Penzance rather than the North Pole.

Make Industries was conceived in this space, when a group of designers and makers shared the space for a pop-up crafts shop. Also a soft play pilot was run which is now a permanent fixture in a local church. Lots of great stuff took place, the landlord was saved lots of money, and when a tenant appeared, Pop Up Penzance moved on.

This space has worked very well in season, but out of season, it was left empty, which gave the opportunity for a temporary occupation for Pop Up Tate, a drop in art workshop for young people run by Emma Wilson in collaboration with Tate St Ives. No losses, lots of gains.

Our current location and the space for Mr Foxes Winter Hop, our first fantastic Christmas Window (by Kate Beckley and Rowena Zoro), a series of Christmas craft workshops for children and some pre-Christmas craft sales. It has also housed the very important Neighbourhood Plan consultation, and was the home of the Green Party in the run up to the elections. Other users have been Amnesty International, Morrab Library, various schools and Penwith College, Porthcurno Museum, Penlee House, Jubilee Pool, Golowan Festival and it was HQ for the Man Engine visit to Penzance as well as being home to our own Penzance Youth Market among many others. Our landlord in this property, who is based far away, is particularly happy that we are keeping the property secure and in good order.

This fabulous building, with huge floor space on 3 levels was home to our wonderful Old Father Frost Christmas Grotto, and to our Christmas Market, and sported one of the 2015 and 2016 Christmas Windows. The immersive theatre of Old Father Frost, inspired by the original Grandfather Frost, (Mercurial Wrestler), was this year created by Kate Beckley and Rowena Zoro working with Pop Up Penzance and with Mounts Bay School students led by Shelley Claxton. A world of Christmas wonder and delight for children and adults, with scenes of the night before Christmas and stories from Old Father Frost himself, and an opportunity to help the elves make Christmas cards for friends and family. It was also home base for the Father Frosts Elves who went around Penzance town centre in and out of shops spreading stories and snow over the weeks before Christmas in 2016. After Pop Up Penzance the shop also became home to the Cornish Culture Association who manage and arrange the Montol Festival and to the Causewayhead Traders Association who bring activity and fun to Causewayhead.