The Carnegie UK Trust has published a report with insights from the organisation’s TestTown project, undertaken over the last 4 years. The report shares details on what has been done; what has been achieved; tips and templates to replicate or repurpose their ideas; and advice from those who have been involved. The report can be downloaded on the Test Town web page.
Below, CUKT outlines how the report and online portal on Test Towns can benefit those working to improve towns across the country.
WHY – should you read it?
TestTown gives the next generation of town centre and high street entrepreneurs the support to realise their potential, while demonstrating how towns can benefit from their energy and imaginative thinking. The programme is simple. Towns and educational organisations make available their vacant spaces, training and support to allow young businesses to test out their ideas in temporary pop-up shops in prime town centre locations. It allows new businesses to trial their ideas in a low-risk, free trading environment. It allows entrepreneurs the freedom to be creative and try out their ideas with nothing to lose.
As vacancy rates continue to be an issue for many towns across the UK and Ireland, TestTown has been specifically designed to celebrate your place and find new uses for unused spaces or areas that have been left behind. This also gives a wider group of people the opportunity to think about, and be part of designing the future of their town. The Carnegie UK Trust has run the programme since 2013 and has now produced a Build Your Own TestTown guide to enable different towns and organisations to deliver their own independent TestTown style projects.
WHAT – does it contain?
The guide is over 100 pages full of information to help innovate and reimagine your high street or town centre. It showcases a range of host and participant case studies, ideas to supercharge your town, practical tips and check lists. It also includes useful templates for many of the important documents such as contracts and evaluation toolkits. Our accompanying TestTown portal also provides a wealth of further information including photos and videos, which demonstrate the real impact of TestTown across the UK and Ireland.
HOW – to find out more?
We have attached a preview sample of our Build Your Own TestTown guide, the full report can be downloaded from here. Alternatively, you can enter your details here to receive a hard copy, sent free of charge to any UK address.
You can also follow us on social media @TestTown2016, by using #TestTown