Small Businesses Offered Rent-Free Stores On Oxford Street West London

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London (Parliament Politic Magazine) – Small businesses are being provided with an enticing opportunity to establish themselves on Oxford Street, one of the most prestigious shopping destinations in the world. In an effort to revitalize the area and prevent an influx of candy shops, a groundbreaking initiative called Meanwhile On Oxford Street has been launched.

Spearheaded by Westminster Council and the New West End Company, this £10 million scheme offers rent-free shops, a remarkable 70% reduction in business rates, store fit-outs, and comprehensive marketing and business support.

Rent-Free Stores Were Previously Occupied By American Candy Stores

This innovative project aims to repurpose the stores previously occupied by American candy shops, which have been a subject of concern for the council. These establishments are perceived as a threat to the esteemed reputation of Oxford Street. In collaboration with Trading Standards, the council is diligently investigating numerous cases, as there are allegations that certain companies have evaded business rates amounting to a staggering £8 million.

By providing small businesses with this unparalleled opportunity, Meanwhile On Oxford Street seeks to inject new life into the area while preserving its unique character. This initiative not only offers financial incentives but also ensures that the selected businesses receive the necessary support to thrive in this competitive retail environment. With the backing of the Westminster Council and the New West End Company, these entrepreneurs will have access to invaluable resources and expertise, enabling them to establish a strong presence on Oxford Street.

The significance of this scheme cannot be overstated. It represents a pivotal moment in the ongoing efforts to maintain the vibrancy and allure of Oxford Street. By replacing candy shops with a diverse range of small businesses, the street will regain its appeal as a hub of innovation and creativity. This visionary project is poised to reshape the landscape of Oxford Street, attracting a new wave of entrepreneurs and fostering a dynamic retail ecosystem.

Innovative Local Businesses To Get A Chance With Rent-Free Stores

Geoff Barraclough, the cabinet member for planning and economic development, has unveiled a plan to safeguard the future of our nation’s high street. The aim is to offer innovative local businesses as alternatives to low-quality occupants and candy stores, ensuring a vibrant and sustainable environment.

Encouragingly, the number of candy stores is on the decline, accounting for just 1% of all trading floor space. Furthermore, one of the largest candy stores on the street is soon to be replaced by HMV, an iconic retailer set to make a triumphant return later this year.

Barraclough emphasized the need for improvement, stating that although the West End has rebounded swiftly from the pandemic, there remains a concerning number of vacant units and subpar occupants.

To address this issue, we have launched ‘Meanwhile On Oxford Street,’ a platform that aims to fill these gaps with upcoming brands that showcase their innovative new ideas. This initiative will not only revitalize the area but also attract a diverse range of businesses, ensuring a dynamic and thriving high street for years to come.”

Read More: Fourteen Business Leaders In The UK Join The Prime Minister’s New Business Council 

A New Development To Take Place On Oxford Street 

Meanwhile, on Oxford Street, an exciting development is taking place. It all began with a pilot scheme on Regent Street in 2021, where Kitty McEntee, the visionary founder of Lab Tonica, had a short-term pop-up shop arranged by the council. The success of this venture led to Lab Tonica securing a permanent concession in the prestigious Selfridges.

For a new start-up like Lab Tonica, this opportunity was nothing short of extraordinary. It not only expedited the brand’s launch but also opened doors to a plethora of marketing and collaboration prospects. Moreover, it provided much-needed revenue for an independent start-up, as expressed by McEntee herself.

This initiative injected a fresh lease of life into the post-Covid high street, and I am immensely proud to have been a part of it. The council’s broader plans to revitalize the area are commendable and align perfectly with the goals of this scheme. Some new developments are going to take place on the shopping street. The new rent-free store option will help innovative small business owners to earn some good profit and no-rent stores. 

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.