Fringe Box



Traders Comment On News That Pop Up Village May Close

Published on: 11 Jan, 2017
Updated on: 13 Jan, 2017

The village, deserted this afternoon (Jan 11).

Traders commented this evening (January 11 2017) on news that the council might decide to temporarily close the Pop Up Village between Commercial and Woodbridge Roads.

Three traders were interviewed at the village in which no customers could be seen.

It is understood that those traders who have signed contracts, especially those that stretch to beyond the end of January, are questioning the legal position if the council close the village early, albeit temporarily.

Nigel Kingston

Nigel Kingston of Just Originals said: “Whilst I’m aware the footfall is virtually non existent, the contract we have signed made marketing and footfall the responsibility of GBC.

“I have signed a six month contract which it looks likely the council will not be honouring. It would be no fault of mine; I am very keen to stay and have spent the last two months building up a customer base. I have taken customer deposits which are scheduled to be paid off over the next three months. This will now present problems.”

Charlene Webster

Charlene Webster of Limpopo Biltong said: “I used to trade in Brixton where there were small shop units in an arcade. Brixton council let them free of charge on a trial basis which turned out to be really successful.

“People here say the rents are too high and off-putting. Also the marketing was poor and the project was inadequately promoted. Other “pop ups” I know like Brixton, and the Boxpark projects in London, were better thought out. They should have got all the tenants in before opening.”

Barbara Collins

Barbara Collins of Crystal Pyramid Therapies, commenting on the design of the container units, said: “I would have preferred the units to be the other way on.

“The narrow entrances are off-putting to customers and the units are generally too narrow. It is like working in a corridor.”

The council has said it will make a decision on the Pop Up Village’s future next Monday.

See also: Pop Up Village May Temporarily Close – Council To Decide

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Responses to Traders Comment On News That Pop Up Village May Close

  1. C Barker Reply

    January 12, 2017 at 9:41 am

    In my opinion it should close permanently, it looks like a building site, the space would serve better as a car park.

  2. Linda Cooper Reply

    January 12, 2017 at 10:33 am

    The pop up village is soulless and boring. Looks awful.

  3. Sara Tokunaga Reply

    January 12, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    I visited the Pop Up Village once before Christmas and was appalled. At that time there were no lights up and very few containers were occupied. With the dodgem cars, fast food outlets with no seating and Christmas trees being sold at the entrance for exorbitant prices it felt like a tacky funfair site. Whoever thought up this idea at GBC should hang his/her head in shame.

    I had assumed the containers would filled with arty crafty goods, which would have been a welcome addition to shopping in Guildford. Needless to say, I never revisited the site and advised others not to bother visiting it either.

  4. Jules Cranwell Reply

    January 13, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Another ill-thought out project by our borough council. They could better have spent the money on improvements to infrastructure and developing a sensible Local Plan, rather than the developer’s charter they have come up with.

  5. D Reddick Reply

    January 13, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    GBC have no idea how to cater for independent shopping, it is always a token effort with little involvement of people who have good ideas. Tunsgate is an example of money before creativity or originality, that area could have been turned into a smaller version of Brighton’s Lanes. It’s all about commercial rent, footfall and parking charges.

  6. Simon Rhodes Reply

    January 14, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    I was there before Christmas, and once I had actually found the place, we concluded it was really uninviting. The result of bureaucrats trying to be commercial.

    I’ve seen car boot sales with more atmosphere!

    Have a look at where it has been done well and copy that.

    For example, the South Bank in London, or the units beside the open-air ice-skating rink in Tunbridge Wells.

    Lots of solid wooden huts with mood lighting makes them ‘cool’ and inviting.

    These units [in Guildford] look dreadful.

    They are badly lit with strip lighting and very just ugly.

    To put dodgems in there was always going to be a bad idea too!

    What a waste of money and what a waste of time for the traders.

    Maybe the council will give them free rent if it ever relaunches?

    • Wayne Smith Reply

      January 17, 2017 at 12:12 pm

      Free rent? GBC are unlikely to do that voluntarily.

      They might if shown to be in breach of contract, as they’re reportedly responsible for generating footfall.

      When the Guildford Farmers’ Market was temporarily moved while the High Street setts were re-laid, the traders also suffered through lack of footfall.

      GBC’s response to a call for a rent reduction was that they couldn’t possibly, because they’d produced some posters to publicise the new location and that had cost the council money!

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