New Dragons’ Den-style competition offers free space to UK retailers

A new competition launched by retail organisation Revo is looking to boost up-and-coming retailers by offering them the opportunity to win free retail space.

The competition, called Hatch, is open to small businesses which display "entrepreneurial spirit, passion and longevity", and will award the winners with free retail space at one of six shopping locations across the UK, as well as cash to be used to cover business rates, service charges, and electricity supply.

In addition, prize winners will be given a year’s free membership with the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA), which provides a retail insurance scheme, card processing, free legal advice and preferential banking rates.

Entrants apply online, before a shortlisted group will face a panel of judges in May, in a Dragon’s Den style format. Winners will be announced later that month.

The six retail locations up for grabs include Westfield Stratford City in London, St David’s Dewi Sant in Cardiff, Silverburn in Glasgow, The Galleries in Tyne & Wear, Parkway Shopping Centre in Limerick, Republic of Ireland, and Bloomfields in County Down, Northern Ireland.

“Small businesses are the backbone of the British economy and a source of great creativity and innovation. We believe that the retail success stories of tomorrow will come from today’s pop-up shops, kiosks, and e-tailers as dozens of brands and chains we now know and love have proven,” Samantha Sen, head of policy at Revo commented in a statement.

“However, Hatch is about more than just identifying the next wave of entrepreneurs and talent who will shape it – it is a demonstration of the industry’s commitment to invest in the communities we are embedded in. Yet there is only so much the industry itself can do, we need to see urgent action from government at all levels to reduce the burden on retailers and revitalise our high streets.”

Photo courtesy of Westfield Stratford City


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