Pop-up shops are being planned for Moray high streets to help new businesses grow following the devastating effects of the Covid pandemic.
Lockdowns and subsequent restrictions and health concerns have had a significant impact on footfall in town centres across Scotland.
Moray Council hopes pop-up shops for new and growing firms will help establish the businesses while filling retail units.
The scheme comes amidst praise that the region is a thriving base for new enterprises.
Where will the pop-up shops be?
Moray Council wants to open pop-up shops for entrepreneurs and small businesses in Elgin, Forres, Buckie, Keith, Lossiemouth, Dufftown and Aberlour, subject to suitable premises being available.
Start-ups are now being urged to sign up to use the currently empty shops.
The units will be available for four weeks free of charge, apart from utility bills.
The initiative mirrors a similar scheme that was run in Keith, which helped the town move from the highest shop vacancy rate in Moray to the lowest.
Officials have drawn up the plans as part of the council’s economic recovery plan in response to an increase in vacant retail units in Moray.
Council leader Graham Leadbitter said: “Pop-up shops provide an ideal platform for businesses to try out a physical high street presence and raise the profile of their business before committing to anything long-term.
“The scheme is equally beneficial for property owners as it brings their empty properties back into use and may lead to a longer term lease or sale – a win-win situation for all involved.
“As our town centres continue to face challenging times, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and changing shopping habits, it’s important to help small or independent businesses develop and thrive.”
Businesses interested in signing up for a pop-up shop or eager for more information should contact email@example.com