TestTown is coming to Glasgow’s Saltmarket
- TestTown challenge will see 12 new-start-ups from across the UK and Ireland descend on Glasgow’s historic Saltmarket to compete.
- Winner will receive ‘UK entrepreneur of the year’ crown and £10k in business startup funding.
Britain’s biggest regeneration and enterprise challenge, TestTown, which aims to create a new wave of responsible business owners whilst simultaneously lowering unemployment, is officially coming to Glasgow’s Saltmarket in February 2016. The deal to bring TestTown to Scotland’s biggest city was struck between the organiser of the challenge, the Carnegie UK Trust, and Glasgow City Council.
The challenge will see entrepreneurs running 12 startup businesses from across the UK and Ireland showcase their trade in vacant shops and spaces in the City’s Saltmarket area. They will be competing for the title of ‘UK Towns Entrepreneur of the Year’, as well as a £10,000 investment for their business idea.
The TestTown regeneration challenge has become the UK and Ireland’s biggest accelerator programme for young entrepreneurs with fresh ideas for rejuvenating the country’s town centres. In the last two years, TestTown has helped inject over £250,000 into 100 start-ups and supported more than 200 entrepreneurs.
Jim Metcalfe, TestTown Programme Leader at the Carnegie UK Trust, said: “Conditions are still tough for town economies across the country, and young people are particularly affected. TestTown is all about helping people to harness entrepreneurial flare at the local level. It provides an opportunity to connect town centre entrepreneurs with the challenges facing the high street, making them real partners and contributors to improving local communities.”
The city’s Saltmarket area was at one point the main thoroughfare of Glasgow and acted as a popular shopping district made-up of independent retailers. Glasgow City Council recently announced its commitment via the City Centre Strategy to regenerate the area which includes vacant shop units being offered to Glasgow-based start-ups in a bid to boost local business. A pilot support project, the Independent Retail Fund, to assist current tenants with the upkeep of their premises has also been introduced.
It is hoped that the TestTown regeneration challenge will also go some way to helping bring the area back to its former glory.
Jim Metcalfe, continued: “Glasgow is a real entrepreneurial hub and the focus on reinvigorating the Saltmarket area to help support start-ups provides the perfect platform in which to challenge our TestTown finalists. We hope that lots of people will come out to support the challenge!”
More on TestTown can be found here: www.testtown.org.uk. Follow the progress on Twitter and join in the town centre debate @TestTown2015.