Selkirk scheme could spread across Borders

Mark Timmins outside the pop-up shop in Selkirk's Tower Street
Mark Timmins outside the pop-up shop in Selkirk's Tower Street

Pop-up shops could appear on a high street near you and help turn around the fortunes of town centres, a small business owner has said.

Mark Timmins, who runs Dizzymafella, producing upcycled and recycled gifts and cards, spent a week in 1 Tower Street, one of two pop-up shops in Selkirk.

Selkirk Pop-Up Shop logo

Selkirk Pop-Up Shop logo

A Creative Arts Borders Network mentor, Mr Timmins also offered business advice.

He praised the Selkirk Chamber of Trade initiative, and said it made people think differently about what retail is about.

Mr Timmins said: “I had people in from across the Borders, and a few went away talking about taking the space, and that is very inspirational.”

He added: “With the railway coming and Abbotsford reopening, we have got to up our game with what we do with retail.

Handmade and hand-dyed hats on sale in Selkirk's Pop-Up shop, made by Fiona McBryde of Knit Fino

Handmade and hand-dyed hats on sale in Selkirk's Pop-Up shop, made by Fiona McBryde of Knit Fino

“People will be coming from a very different retail scenario – America, London – and they want the timeless quality of Selkirk and the Borders, but also to have things individual and about the locality.”

Mr Timmins said businesses which have been successful in the pop-up shops would benefit greatly, and could grow further because of it.

He added: “It is great for small businesses that perhaps have never thought about doing retail or have only been selling on the internet.

“You could have a pop-up shop in every town in the Borders and it would just be amazing.”

Project manager Margaret Sweetnam said: “The chamber of trade has been quite innovative in their approach.

“Selkirk has some brilliant shops here all the time – we are just adding a bit of variety. It is absolutely meant to be about complementing what is here already. It is about mutual benefits.”

Mrs Sweetnam added: “I feel we are doing something that would be of benefit to other communities and hopefully at the end of it we will have a toolkit there to take it forward and that could be used elsewhere.”

The two pop-up shop spaces are available for businesses from across the Borders. For more information visit www.facebook.com/popupselkirk