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The Manual A guide and suite of tools to run Start Up Street in your local area

Start Up Street Manual 1.0

Start Up Street Manual 1.0

An Introduction

A Start Up Steet Manual Start Up Street is an organic process. This Manual outlines how the Start Up Street (SUS) model could be put into practice in other towns or cities.

The most common city centre issue I hear commented on is King Street. It is a key street in Stirling, linking the old and new areas of the city, but for a range of reasons, has consistently high levels of property vacancy. The Start Up Street project has been designed to tackle the complex social, economic and cultural issues surrounding regeneration of King Street, through engagement with willing property owners and communities of interest. It is an ambitious attempt to try and find a role for King Street, to help it survive as a 21st century high street, and contribute to a wider cross theme vision for the whole city centre. Stirling is far from the only centre wrestling with the issue of town centre streets and their changing roles. In fact we here of little else in the press, publications and social media regarding town centres. However, with commitment and people working together, there can be `good` news. The Start Up Street project is complex, but in our case, it stopped the talking and shaped the doing. It called for a

leap of faith. It has changed with time. It has delivered on some of the initial ambitions, and medium term plans have altered with input from others. It has had to adapt to go beyond the regeneration theory and deal with the real high street operational environment. It has been easy for some to grasp and difficult for others. It has been the subject of many conversations and heated discussions as we went. It has taken patience and tolerance by all. It has lost its way sometimes. It has been tidy and messy. It has been a challenge to get it this far. It has had shared vision. It has had resource difficulties. In other words, it goes beyond the partnership rhetoric of so many documents, and has the hallmarks of a genuine partnership. From the very start, one of the intentions was that the learning we gained, the mistakes we made, the triumphs we had, the challenges still faced, should be shared with others beyond Stirling city centre. This was to ensure that our learning could inform the approach other towns were taking to town centre issues. Not to encourage duplication, but to say `This was our approach. Learn from it, adapt it, change it, take parts of it. If the whole approach is not suitable to your town then be informed by it and ignore it`. It is our journey.

This manual contains an outline of activity that was embraced throughout its pilot in Stirling and a series of learning’s and recommendations that should be considered to make it a success. Ideally the manual should be read alongside the Start Up Street story in order to fully understand the people and stories required to setup and run an initiative like Start Up Street. This manual contains an overview of the process and Service Design for councils to work closely with their citizens to kickstart ventures for civic impact. Each stage documents links of interest and tools that you can use to run your own Start Up Street initiative. The manual then goes into detail of each stage the pilot of Start Up Street Stirling tested with learnings from this and pointers on activities to undertake. Alongside this manual are a collection of tools aligned with each stage of the process for you to use and share in your Start Up Street journey. They can be accessed here. Finally, we have recommended how to continue the initiative and different models that may work in your place.

//ANDY KENNEDY, City Centre Manager, Stirling, 2013

Start Up Street is a collaboration between: Ice Cream Architecture | Stirling Council Architecture and Design Scotland | Snook



For more information and to contact us, visit



Start Up Street Manual 1.0

Start Up Street Manual 1.0

Start up street tools We have created a set of tools to help you in your Start up Street process. Click on the icons to be directed to a dropbox folder with a selection of tools for the specific category.














SUS initiative overview SUS vacancy document

SUS city lab blueprint plan SUS asset card SUS popup city lab asset map SUS empty space idea cards SUS shop space idea card SUS sign up sheet

SUS temporary retail unit project document

SUS action and materials plan SUS agreement for participants SUS call for participants SUS code of practice

City lab report from stirling SUS blueprint SUS Existing-customer blueprint SUS Missing-customer blueprint SUS business what is it SUS city lab blueprint plan SUS existing-business cards SUS existing-customer cards SUS missing-business cards

SUS logo SUS tool logo SUS vectors


Start Up Street Manual 1.0

Start Up Street builds conditions to kickstart ventures for civic impact. It connects people with ideas and vacant High Street properties. Start Up Street is a process to catalyse a locally based community of interest who come together to make a difference in a place, by:

There are five stages to the Start Up Street process. It is not a fixed start and end process. It is a cycle, which adapts to local contexts. There are organisational [people] and spatial [physical] elements to each stage:

Aw ar e


ow Gr

How does it work?


Start Up Street

Le a

Start Up Street Manual 1.0

Use The unusual suspects Identifying and engaging local people assets in the possibility of collaborating on ventures.


Social capital and business formation

Creative asset management

Building pre pipeline capacity in individuals and groups on the enterprise journey and providing a co-working space for venture development and start ups.

Bringing vacant physical spaces on the High Street into productive use.

Institutional collaboration Providing a focus for localised collaboration on resources and impacts.

Aware Re-frame local problems and opportunities to build the Start Up Street network Source possible empty properties on the High Street. Identify the local challenges and opportunities connecting with existing research, plans, aims objectives for the location. Initial feasibility discussions with local partners and initial people asset mapping to assess capacities.





Broker relationships and resources in a live High Street space to equip participants for start up

Catalyse the organisational and spatial conditions to run initial start ups

Re-connect partners and participants to shape a sustainable governance model by focusing on market making and expansion

Re-frame the issues and challenges from the process as a learning resource to inform service improvement and development

Use emerging projects and learning from the process to establish new connections between everyone involved to establish a structure for sustainable future resourcing. Diversify funding models, promote commercialisation and innovative collaborations.

Organise a community based learning infrastructure, to share ideas and feedback on what works and what can improve, using a practical ‘toolbox’ approach. This may include tools to visualise problems, collaborate, hustle, promote, finance and sell for example.

Secure physical space. Connect partners, stakeholders, activators and people to physical assets to develop bespoke response to the brief from stage 1. Inform participants about what to do, how it works and what’s expected.

Fit out and resourcing of physical space with events, staff and market making opportunities. Develop the brokered network of people, existing research and Start Up Street expertise to realise active projects.


Start Up Street Manual 1.0

Start Up Street Manual 1.0

Service map Start Up Street has some fundamental ground work to be laid before getting started. From here, the process is down to how you want to run it. AWARE





We have identified three main routes at this stage: Route A / Route B / Route C SUS Initiation

Pop Up City Lab

SUS Club

The Pop Up Shop Route

Short Term Lease (1 - 6 months) This is the groundwork that goes into allocating budgets, agreeing vision and SUS milestones for your place.

A Pop Up City Lab is a three to four day event held in a vacant unit, or public space that opens up the initiative and vision to the public.

Creating an initiation group within your local authority that contains key champions who will remain with the initiative over a significant period of time is recommended to continue Start Up Street. Ideally here, a topical issue or mission can be focused on in order to galvanize people to work together to use their place to address it.

The Pop Up City lab can then become a central space for the initiative to operate from and take on a role of skills development within your place.

Building a ‘SUS Club’ is an important element of initiating civic action in your place. Holding regular meetings with local groups and the public to share and develop future SUS plans is an important step to get projects off the ground and a supporting collective force behind the initiative. Consideration can be given to incentives in your place for members who take an active role in the Start Up Street initiative.

Call out to public to run ventures

Short Term Lease (1 - 6 months)

The ‘Pop Up Shop’ route looks to open up a shop, building on an existing community, for example, the Creative Industries. This route is about opening up a shop unit, ideally on the High Street or an area with high footfall in order to allow people, who don’t normally have the opportunity, to take up residence in a shop and sell their products or service under a short term lease. This provides an ideal testing ground for participants for their business and can continue as a collective spin off into additional Pop Up Shops which take on their own ownership. Participants are found by using an open call for ideas.


Acquire a Space

Acquire a Space

Short term (one week)

Medium Term (3 months)

Acquiring a space early on is ideal to quickly show the public that there is action being taken on the initiative. In the interim stages, use a public space or an empty unit that can be utilised for a few days. This is ideal to give the Start Up Street brand form.

Continuing to locate units early on in this process will provide opportunity in future for new civic projects. Remember that SUS does not need to use shop units, this can be about creating the conditions for a marketplace to happen or disused public spaces to be regenerated.

Space Preparation

2. The Thematic route

Pop Up City Lab

Short Term Lease (1 - 6 months)

The second, ‘Thematic’ route is where a community of people supporting a particular theme identified from the Pop Up City Lab (food, culture, outdoor space, diversionary activities etc) come together in collaboration and run a unit this way. These spatial ideas are built from collaborative exercises undertaken at a Pop Up City Lab (documented in this manual) and identify collaborative opportunities for empty spaces within a place. Preparation for taking over a short term lease of a space includes building the venture ideas together over time.

3. City Lab

The City Lab as a fixed entity

Learning and Knowledge

The opening of a central City Lab space is ideal to centralise activities within your place. From here, new spaces and opportunities can be consistently sought out. The City Lab can be used to run a rolling programme of skills and venture development to create a pipeline of ventures and people ready for open spaces to test out their business concept. The City Lab can take on the roll of all previous activities, including pop up labs, space preparation and venture development if you have a team in place to support this activity.

As your Start Up Street initiative grows it is good to ensure a reflective process is adopted to look for new opportunities within your space, grow the network and continue to develop the initiative.

Short Term Lease (1 - 6 months) The third is opening a City Lab and the most ideal route to initiating and building the SUS initiative. It is an open space which acts as a venture incubator. It supports a diverse range of business participants through a programme where by the end of which, it looks to locate the most promising in premises within the local area. A City Lab acts as a central development from which to cement SUS within a community and can host a SUS Ground team. The City Lab can continue an open dialogue about the place it is located in, holding open events to discuss and build ideas for the community. Short Term Lease (1 - 6 months)

Short Term Lease (1 - 6 months)

Preparing the space and putting in management structures is important to schedule for at an early stage.


Start Up Street Manual 1.0

Start Up Street Manual 1.0

Start Up Street is all about people Create a team to implement SUS and act as a catalyst to new activity in the High Street. Grow a multi-disciplinary team with different roles within the initiative and grow organically over time.

The diversity of the group involved in the Start Up Street Stirling (SUSS) pilot brought together a range of skills, expertise and knowledge that supported the initiative as it developed at various stages. These individual roles have been captured and summarised into a core team that future projects should look to identify the key attributes of these people when looking to put together a Start Up Street team. The Portas review outlines the need for a:

after a prototype stage. Within this manual we have documented who is key to each stage of setting up and delivering SUS. Begin with a strategic positioner and a group of ‘activators’ who will bring form to the local Start Up Street model and map out how it will work in your area. The following pages document the ideal roles within the Start Up Street process

“... “Town Team”: a visionary, strategic and strong operational management team for high streets” The team who kick off Start Up Street should be similar to this role and ideally are integrated into your strategic vision for your place. Without people power, and particularly catalysts, Start Up Street is difficult to get off the ground.

Initiation Team Setting up Start Up Street requires an initiation team. Over time, as the initiative develops, the ownership needs to change into the hands of the people, facilitated by the local council. This secures the notion that an original SUS team can be outsiders who act as a catalyst and support mechanism to a council to initiate SUS actions with the intention to hand over



Start Up Street Manual 1.0

Start Up Street Manual 1.0

Ideal roles

1. The Strategic Positioners

2. The Activators

3. The Local Champions

4. The Ground Team

The Strategic Positioner identifies the potential of SUS to address the challenges in a place, and has the contacts to build the political support and local authority support to kickstart the process.

The success of SUS needs an Activator based in the area, at least one person day to day working on the project to maintain momentum and keep the public up to date on every stage of SUS.

The local champions are individuals identified within a town or city with a natural drive and willingness to support projects for the greater good. They will be in the position to dedicate time towards the initiative. It is ideal if it benefits their day to day focus and they can see the connection between what they do and goals of SUS.

The ground team are an audience engaged with the SUS project on an ongoing basis, willing to contribute and chip in to events, shop preparation, and support the project whilst it is running.

The Activators maintain the everyday and ensure knowledge is captured for every next move of SUS. They are responsible for the planning, and delivery of all aspects of the SUS program. Roles may often be split, with a focus on running the initiative and maintaining relationships between interested parties (the public, local businesses, local initiatives and stakeholders)

Examples from SUSS include the shop owners willing to hold the keys, contribution in kind during the build and preparation of the shop, free access to other shop unit’s wifi etc.

5. The Broker The broker has a unique role in supporting the strategic positioner as to which context the SUS project may fit within. This role involves following the project and aligning it with any upcoming policy or initiative taking place in the local area or country.

6. The Funder (Permission Givers – Top Level) The Funders have access to money within their organisation and call the shots in terms of annual budgets. They are responsible for overseeing how and where money I spent within the area and are key to securing investment for the project.

However, a larger dedicated Ground Team is ideal which can be built in different models from paid staff by the local authority, redirected job roles or groups of students from a local institution per SUS project.

Key Attributes:

Key Attributes:

Key Attributes:

Key Attributes:

Key Attributes:

Key Attributes:

Proactive A Planner Access to funds Works at a strategic level within the city

All rounders Galvanisers A tenacious bunch System thinkers

Committed Passionate about the area Driven Willing to support Connectors Have time

See the bigger picture Supportive Engaged Have time Committed Trust worthy Reliable

Deep understanding of SUS and confidence in initiative Knowledge and understanding of where SUS can fit within a city/town

Capital investment Access to funding

During SUSS:

During SUSS:

During SUSS:

During SUSS:

During SUSS:

During SUSS:

Andy Kennedy, City Centre Manager Diarmaid Lawlor, ADS Joelle Russell, Stirling Council

Snook, Service Design Ice Cream Architecture, Community Design

Joelle Russell, Stirling Council Stephen Walker, local creative Paul Mc Donald, local creative Paula Morgan, Creative Stirling Volunteer Stirling Creative Industry Forum Creative Stirling + More of the Public

Made In Stirling Members Stirling Creative Industry Forum Creative Stirling

Diarmaid Lawlor, ADS

Stirling Council



Start Up Street Manual 1.0

Start Up Street Manual 1.0

SUS Initiation This stage is about initiating conversations with the key partners on the project and as a starting point, should begin around topical issues to be addressed within a town or city.

SUS Initiation

Key Activities:

Learning’s from SUSS: An ideal starting point is using an opportunity that arises or a strategic objective or issue that needs attention. For example empty shop units - or opportunities for new forms of civic engagement. This gives the SUS initiative early momentum and becomes a catalyst for interest in the project amongst members of the public. However, it is important to remember that Start Up Street isn’t just about empty shop units. This could be about any space. You might want to galvanize a community around Community Centres, set up a market place, create a street festival or pull together activities in your street.

Creating an animation of the future of SUSS The animation supported the development of an early story about what SUSS might become in future and provided a centre point for discussion. Although as of yet, the store-tostore production has not been realised early signs of the City Lab supporting the continued development Made In Stirling (MIS) are visible, both with regards to business advice and supporting the artists and makers. Creating a blog for SUSS The creation of the blog was useful, but SUSS needs an overall stronger online presence and commitment to maintain updates as the project progresses

Key Partner Meeting

Key Partner Meeting: Pull together the key team to agree focus, scope and a project plan for your SUS initiative.

Future Vision & Service Models

Future Vision & Service Models: Map out how the project will work and what the future vision is. Make this a sharable and editable document in which all partners can access.

Develop your SUS Brand

Route Identified: Identify which route you will take, A, B or C in order to map out the future programme and communicate them to the public.

Animation highlighting future

Recommendations: // A shop unit or local space to run the central operation (HQ) of SUS should be secured prior to the initiation or during this period. // Identify at this stage a space that may be secondary to your HQ and determine either the lease available or how and when the asset you choose to exploit can be used. Confirm a proposed launch date and work back from this. // Pull together interested parties to engage and champion SUS from an early stage. These might include local business support agencies, creative collectives and members within your own local authority. Having support onboard to call upon at an early stage is beneficial later on in the SUS initiative.

Open invitation to attend Citylab

Animation highlighting the future: Create a visual or video that shows how SUS might work in your local area. Using visual media allows SUS to be accessible to all and moves beyond traditional strategic plans.

Who is involved?

Open Invitation to attend Pop Up City Lab: Send out an open invitation to a Pop Up City Lab in a space you have defined. It is ideal to use Eventbrite as a platform to do this to collect email addresses and manage the event. The Funder

The Broker

Strategic Positioner


SUS initiative overview SUS vacancy document External tools: Wordpress Social Media (Twitter/Facebook)


SUS Brand Developed: Develop your SUS brand. Give it a local name but use this brand consistently throughout your programme to keep all start up activities together. Create a blog that can be accessed by all of the partners to keep the public updated on SUS activities in their local area.

The Activators

Links: Blogging Dynamic Presentation:


Start Up Street Manual 1.0

Start Up Street Manual 1.0

Pop Up City Lab The Pop-Up City Lab is a three to four day event held in a vacant unit on the high street. Or any space you can find.

A Pop Up City Lab is an experience that invites the public, local stakeholders, business owners and the Council to pro actively discuss issues and opportunities in a space about the city. One of the main aims of the Pop Up City Lab is to start mapping the key people and skills base available in the local area and layering this information with the demand for those skills and attributes.


Learning’s from SUSS:

// The Pop Up City Lab should be held in the shop space where the SUS venture will eventually operate. Building this familiarity with the brand at an early stage means as the project develops a local awareness of what is happening grows

Utilise existing talent within the area Reach out to local colleges and universities and existing networks within your area and invite them. Bringing together a variety of different perspectives is important to gain a holistic viewpoint and take on the issue you are addressing.

Capture the key themes and share these Key themes and opportunities were shared by many of those who attended the first Pop Up City Lab session. This provides a good ground to float themes and ideas created by local people later on in SUS to show you listened and are building on the needs of the local community.

Understanding the customer base Matching local demand and supply, is the only way that we can try and ensure that commercial activities that take place are sustained.

Show short term impact For SUS, pop ups are a way of visualising what is possible. Utilising an open space and holding a pop up City Lab in this space shows action and a future possibility for other. Their purpose is not just to make vacant spaces active but to help people see how the whole service of Start Up Street can work in your area.

// Acquire information on rental rates in cities/towns as part of initial asset mapping exercise // Create a report of learnings and findings and share this with participants who came and online on your local SUS platform // Sign up support and roles for a ground team and people interested in taking forward ventures. Segmenting early interest into what people want and how they can support SUS will help you in the long run.

Work with the public and private sector There needs to be an investment in time from public and private sector in the local area so take time to get these groups on board with information on your SUS initiative. Find local leaders Find local leaders who are doing similar work and can use SUS to develop their existing project. They will become key champions for SUS and support bringing together local networks to move the initiative forward.

Agree to invest time before holding the lab Pop ups don’t just pop out of nowhere. They take time and commitment to make them a reality. Ensure by this time you have key activators on board and are starting to develop a ground team and SUS roles of your own. Follow up on the pop up City Lab as quickly as possible to show action.

People need business support People wanting to run ventures will need mentoring and a clear direction for where the SUS programme is going. In this manual we have documented how to run a City Lab which will take the form of developing ventures to create a pipeline in order to fill future space options.



Start Up Street Manual 1.0

Start Up Street Manual 1.0

Pop Up City Lab

Key Activities: This stage is about finding a synergy and links between the demand and supply within the area. In order to do this, we suggest breaking the Pop Up City Lab event up as follows;

Popup CityLab Agenda: 1. Asset Mapping The first day focuses on building an asset map of the town/city and exploring all the existing ideas, places, spaces, systems, people, knowledge and support available locally. Tools such as Placestation and The Civic Crowd are great free resources that support capturing this information digitally. Ideally work with a big map and use small asset cards to map the following: // Ideas // Places // People // Skills // Support // Knowledge Capture contact details per asset if applicable and make contact with these post Pup Up City Lab. 2. Idea Generation (Business Model Canvas): The second day builds on the assets identified in the first and encourages the public to generate ideas on what could be made real. Idea generation is built on a loose framework of the business model canvas to consider inputs and outputs so that ideas are rooted in reality. By using the business model canvas as a template from which to work into, we are able


to describe, design, challenge, and invent solutions to the identified theme. It supports an early understanding of things such as key partners, activities, resources, and relationships that need to be in place to sustain an idea or business idea. Furthermore, it helps us question the value proposition that is being brought to the area. 3. Idea Generation in a commercial context: It’s important to get local businesses on board within the local area. The third day brings local businesses together and identifies how they could add value to their own enterprises by working in collaboration with, or building on the ideas developed from the previous day. It also explores a larger commercial context on how a high street can change its offer to appropriate customer segments from outwith the area. 4. Open Day: The open day is the final day of the Pop Up City Lab and invites anyone in the area to come in and view the work and give his or her opinion on the concept. Ideally held on a day with high footfall such as the weekend, the intention is to get feedback and a wider network of individuals signed up and/ or interested in the Start Up Street project. Use this day to capture people’s opinions visually and film what they think a Start Up Street initiative would look like in their community.

Send out agenda Prepare the space Disclosure of chosen theme Speakers Introduce Concept of SUS Run Pop Up City Lab agenda Pitch and Showcase Sign up commitment Capture visually and share

Who is involved?

Send out agenda of Citylab to participants The agenda to the left shows an ideal format to running the Pop Up City Lab. Holding it for more than one day allows more people to get involved. Prepare the space Make the space visual and brand this with SUS material to give the brand a presence. Have all materials prepared and ready to use for the Pop Up City Lab. It is ideal if the materials are printed large format and mounted onto the wall. Disclosure of chosen theme (Identified during initiation) Choosing a theme to focus on before the Pop Up City Lab is ideal. This is not essential but even if the topic is wide, for example, ‘How can we create active citizens in the city centre’ it gives people something to work with. Speakers Pulling together some vocal local speakers who are doing interesting, entrepreneurial and innovative work to speak at the event will encourage people to attend and set the pace for the ethos of your SUS initiative as an emergent process. Introduce concept of SUS and case study Show how SUS could work in practice and share case studies from other areas where this has been achieved successfully. Run the Pop Up City Lab agenda Using the tools provided, you can run your own Pop Up City Lab similar to the agenda on the left.

Strategic Positioner



SUS city lab blueprint plan SUS asset card SUS popup city lab asset map SUS empty space idea cards SUS shop space idea card SUS sign up sheet

Asset Capture

The Activators

Showcase and Pitch Make sure you have a pitching (showcase) event at the end of the Pop Up City Lab where people can share what they’ve been working on and you can summarise future steps. Sign up commitment Ensure you have a sign up form and ask people how they would like to support SUS going forward. It is early stage but if roles can be articulated, this is ideal. Capture visually and share Capturing the event with cameras, particularly film can bring the initiative to life and be shared online after the event. Additionally, this is a great PR tool for the local authority to gain traction. Ensure you share findings and outcomes from the event with participants quickly. 19

Start Up Street Manual 1.0

Start Up Street Manual 1.0

Acquiring a space Acquiring a space is a crucial shift to take the project from a state of talking and ideation, to a space of doing.

Learning’s from SUSS:

Recommendations: Acquiring a space(s), should be an ongoing activity by the Activators and Ground team to scope out potential places for Start Up activities to take place which can be supplied by people developing their ventures in the City Lab. This stage is about looking at the available properties in the area and contacting landlords to pitch the SUS project to get them on board with the benefits of the project. Both in regards to the space they own, and for the wider city. Additionally, this doesn’t have to be about Pop up spaces and can form around creating the license for a market place to be held, or a dis-used space to be made available for the public to use. It is key that landlords understand the SUS value proposition that you are trying to sell them. By selling the success of previous SUS projects, using case studies of the renovated spaces in 58 Murray Place in Stirling and engaging the landlords in discussions around increased footfall, regeneration and civic engagement you can begin to open up a dialogue on why supporting the project with a temporary lease is of value to them.

// Ensure you have exact name for landlord, tenant, subtenants etc. for legal documentation. Ensure you have Charity, CIC or business registration number for Rates and landlord. // Create a pitch – a short sentence or paragraph that succinctly summarises the specifics with regards to intended use of any premises. // Approach potential funders in the area, but be sure to have: A. An exact story B. An exact list of what is needed from them and why C. Personal contacts. It pays to name names. // Ask the question - “What is your policy on CIC’s and rate relief?” to the relevant parties within the town or city SUS is working. // Once you have a space, hit the ground running. The importance of maintaining momentum when it is building is crucial for the success of the project. // Try and get time and goods sponsored where possible. Where for example trades are sponsored but materials are to be paid, these can be invoiced to the project, as many businesses will be able to source the materials at trade price. // It can often take a while to set up projects, temporary employment, etc. through the Council and it can be quite bureaucratic with associated costs. By contracting a third party to manage the project, it allows greater freedom on how


the management fee is spent, enabling a quick response to the changing need of a project. // Landlords will want to offer you 6 months rent, but will often say I’ll give you three months starting now, so be prepared for things to shift immediately. // Any existing activity on the ground needs to be built on as this opens more doors. Work like Creative Stirling, etc if there is nothing happening, then get the ball rolling and start prototyping possibilities.

Keep an open list of property status and landlords Most of the units on King Street were in private ownership and most have different owners. It would appear that many owners live abroad and for some, the key interest in their property is in its capital value rather than its rental income. Conversations with landlords and agencies regularly had spin offs. “This isn’t available but this might be…” Be open to exploring with landlords if they have any other contacts in the local are who might be able to support as they can often be well connected. Use a wiki or google document to maintain up to date information on landlords. Be specific about what you will use the space for It is difficult to secure a short-term reduced rent lease in advance. Landlords want their units available for any potential longer-term lease at a commercial rental value. Therefore, negotiating a temporary three-month lease was difficult. Be aware that when attempting to acquire a short lease you have to be very specific about the intended use within the property as this can often scare landlords away. Set up a CIC to apply for rates relief Only Charities and CIC’s are eligible to apply for rates relief. Setting up a Community Interest Company (CIC) meant that rates could be managed, but a business plan/structure needs to be in place to ensure it allows the company to operate as it


Start Up Street Manual 1.0

Start Up Street Manual 1.0

Space Preparation This stage pulls together the wider SUS team to ensure everything is in place for an imminent shop or City Lab launch Acquiring a space

Key Activities: Identify Existing Premises Determine Rentable Values Establish Rate Relief Establish potential Options Liase with Landlords Create Lease Agreement

Who is involved?

Strategic Positioner


The Activators

Using Vacancy Document to identify existing premises The local authority should be able to supply you with a vacancy document to understand which properties in your area are available. Investigate street space with the council if there is option to set up a market place.

A shop unit needs preparation before it can open. The activators should undertake this role and conduct a Building Assessment to identify what work needs to be completed to the physical unit before it can open. This can be in preparation for your City Lab or Open retail space.

Determine rentable values Keep an up to date spreadsheet, available to the core SUS team of rentable values of units.

The activators take the reigns with floor plans, management documents and building assessments all necessary in the acquisition and subsequent refurbishments.

Establish Rates Relief via CIC Find out from the local authority about what rate relief is available for Community Interest Company. Setting up your CIC takes about 5 days without delay and costs around ÂŁ35. There is more guidance on the structure in the links section.

As a brand principle of SUS it is important to create a clean aesthetic to compete with other stores on the High Street.

Establish list of potential options Keep an up to date, editable list of landlord status. Do they live abroad? What is their offer? This is ideal to build on local authority knowledge and keep anyone involved at this stage of the project not to double up on contacting. Liaising with landlords Work with landlords with a clear intention and time frame you are looking to take on a short term lease. Having this prepared with information to hand over to them helps move the process along faster. Cold call to begin with and arrange a meeting to move the process along. Create Lease Agreement Begin working up the lease as soon as you can to ensure all information is correct on the paperwork.



SUS temporary retail unit project document


In parallel to this it is ideal to begin developing a marketing plan for the project and identifying key communication channels relevant to the audience that the project engages with. LinkedIn Groups, Twitter, Email and posters around the local area were all successfully used during the development of the SUSS pilot. At this stage, it should be clear what your intent is. You may be running a pop up shop, initiating a longer standing City Lab or running a rotation of short term ventures in a space. Once a plan has been put in place, a call for ideas (or call for participants) in sent out via these channels to generate as much interest as possible. Contacts from the Pop Up City Lab can be used to further push and promote this material.

existing groups who are conducting activities in the local area are good to connect with. Identifying people with similar intention to the area you are working in are ideal key champions to join the SUS Ground Team. It is important at this stage to identify who will manage the shop and who key responsibilities fall to. Key Partners During this stage, pulling together key partners in the area to support the running and marketing of the shop was important. Consider asking the shop next door to hold they keys and allow access to their internet. Look at who else can bring revenue and support the revenue of the shop, and communicate why this is valuable to them. For Made In Stirling, local creative organisations brought in a ticketing system which supported their presence to sell events but also supplied a full time member of staff for the shop. Working together with the local champions and offering exchange incentives worked well. For example local creatives got involved. Stephen made the units, Paul helped with the graphic design and in return both got access to the space. Consider what you can offer in exchange to people supporting.

Before, or during this process, establish a core SUS Club who will become the SUS Ground team. Working with


Start Up Street Manual 1.0

Start Up Street Manual 1.0

Recommendations: // Having Activators with knowledge and experience in this field is key. Icecream Architecture had a knowledge of rateable values, health and safety regulations, property values, electricity, plumbing etc. This supported the plan of work and focus on scheduling during the shop preparation. // It is ideal to support project costs to get investors on board who can either support financially or with in kind donations of materials or traders. Influential factors in gaining this support include: A. Taking a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) angle B. A comprehensive communication of the project purpose and wider aims and objectives for social good C. Having a letter of support from the council // As part of the Marketing Plan potential investors need: - An exact story about the project aims - A list of exactly what is required from them. (For example materials, sponsorship, capital investment etc.) - Why they will benefit from supporting the project - Personal contacts (use high profile supporter names) // The use of social media was helpful when detailing a call for proposals. Channels such as twitter, local media, professional contacts and the council were valuable resources in pushing the projects exposure. Creating a social media guide of usernames and passwords as well as prompts and making this accessible to the Activators and Ground Team is important as a handover.


Learning’s from SUSS: // By doing ANY activity you engage a wider audience and network. Doing not talking is important as a key principle to SUS. // Build on other resources around the city, University programmes can continue to build on the asset and knowledge map. Ideally these partnerships would be considered in the initial Pop Up City Lab stages and brought into the initiative at the appropriate stage. // Pick a launch date and work back from this to determine what needs done and when. // Use transformation of the space as for leverage for future landlords. Before and after pictures are ideal for documentation and future cases - This is how it looked before and this is the result from letting us access and use the space at a reduced rate. Pull together landlord case studies of before and after of as leverage for future shops.

Get the community on board and build a SUS Club If the group going into the space believe it is owned/being run by anyone other than themselves, then the sense of ownership and responsibility for what’s happening falls back to the Activators. This is not conducive to a SUS initiative - it needs to feel as though the community owns it. One way in which to ensure community feel ownership whilst aligning with the SUS model is to create a local chapter of the SUS brand (Start Up Street Stirling) that operates like a club of local volunteers and enlist key SUS Ground team members. Finding Investors Find investment, and go straight to the top, speak to the directors or make sure you find the right person to contact when looking for additional support such as the fit out of the space. Creating an open document of what is needed to bring the shop to fruition allows people to offer support to the project.


Start Up Street Manual 1.0

Start Up Street Manual 1.0 A C

Three routes Start Up Street can be run in different ways dependent on your goals for the initiative and stage you are at Space Preparation

Key Activities: Building Assessment Undertake a building assessment in order to understand the scale of work required for the shop fit out. Ideally do this before defining project budgets so there is an understanding of the amount of work required to bring the shop to fruition.

Building Assessment Floor Plan Marketing Plan

Floor Plan Create a detailed floor plan that allows multiple enterprises/ entities to occupy the space.

Call for ideas

Marketing Plan Consider how local and social media can aid the public to discover the shop opening and products on sale.

Seek out investors Assemble Core SUS Ground Team

Call for Ideas Participants Run a call for ideas for participants to submit well in advance of the shop opening. You might want to consider a theme and tie in with seasonal or cultural events in the city.

Management Document Establish Project Managers

Seek out investors Investors can be financial or supply additional materials for the shop preparation.

Code of Practice

Start Up Street can be run in three ways. The first, the ‘Appointed’ route, looks to develop on a chosen shop theme, for example the creative industries pilot in Start Up Street Stirling. The second, ‘Open’ route is where a community of people supporting a particular theme identified from the Pop Up City Lab (food, culture, outdoor space, diversionary activities etc) come together in collaboration and run a unit this way. The third and final route is the City Lab option that acts as a central development from which to cement SUS within a community. It supports a diverse range of business participants through a programme where by the end of which, it looks to locate the most promising in a premises in the local area. The key thing for the impact of each route is that people can take decisions and are accountable for them. There is not a linear path to each route, but we are building stories and evidence of what worked, and using this to understand and inform future actions. The impacts will continue to be a result of an on-going iterative process.

Assemble Core SUS Ground Team Put a ground team in place who can support the development of the shop opening and manage this piece of work.

Who is involved?

Management Document (Plan of work) A detailed GANT chart will support you to get all parties onboard and work towards a shop opening. Strategic Positioner

The Activators

Local Champions

Tools: SUS action and materials plan SUS agreement SUS call for participants SUS code of practice


Ground Team

Establish Project Managers Establishing project managers who take responsibility for the shop opening and running of the shop is important to pin down early on. Code of practice Ensure each participant has a copy and has read and understood your code of practice for the space. Ensure an agreement between you, the space holder, and the space user has been signed outlining your agreement of responsibilities.


Start Up Street Manual 1.0

Start Up Street Manual 1.0

The City Lab The City Lab can be setup at any stage during the initiative. It is an ideal central point to any Start Up Street activities A City Lab as skills and venture development A City Lab for your place (or town lab) is an ideal central point for Start Up Street activities to be undertaken.

A central City Lab is your opportunity to run an incubation unit for skills and ventures development in your place.

As part of developing one of the three routes, it is an incubator space that works closely with people on their business ideas. It can be used to inspire and channel people’s motivations to try something they may have not believed they can do in the past.

Ideally, run your City Lab as a rolling three month programme which outlines capacity for how many ventures you can support over this period.

Beyond an incubation space, a City Lab can continue to develop the Start Up Street brand, particularly as a central location it offers your SUS initiative a visible presence and opportunity to grow your ‘SUS Club’ with the public. Your City Lab can include activities of: // Maintaining knowledge on current state of local units and availability // Securing local spaces (markets and units) // Running call outs and preparing management for Pop ups // Running Pop Up City Labs to address local issues and inspire collaborations around new ventures // Support the council and local stakeholders to develop their city centre strategy by aligning with thematic ventures


Venture Support A City Lab can support the development of ventures (people with existing business or new ideas) who want to develop them. A programme should include a mix of local and external skills sharing workshops that support the development of a business idea. Experimental Space The City Lab allows a central space for ventures to test out their ideas with the general public. These can be run in a space outlined within the City Lab. This is ideal for people to test and create use cases of their ventures for funding applications, investment and create demand for their product before taking over a lease.

Open Doors As a central location, an open doors policy can create unique collaborations and develop relationships with members of the public. The City Lab can be considered as a central co-working space. Pop Up City Labs An ongoing two way consultation with the public can be initiated with regular SUS Pop up City Labs that tackle local issues or develop opportunities. Venture Pipeline The City Lab can visually articulate opportunities, whether this is a marketplace stall, short 2 day space in a pop up shop or a full three month opportunity for the public to sign up to and work towards. Consider the City Lab as a visual open project management of what is happening in your place.

Develop SUS Club A ‘call out’ support wall can be implemented to share with the public what support you need running your SUS initiative. This could range from support with developing ventures to skills to materials needed for opening up shop spaces.



City lab report from stirling SUS blueprint SUS Existing-customer blueprint SUS Missing-customer blueprint SUS business what is it SUS city lab blueprint plan SUS existing-business cards SUS existing-customer cards SUS missing-business cards


Start Up Street Manual 1.0

Start Up Street Manual 1.0

Creating a Rolling Programme Outlined below is an ideal rolling programme schedule for three months

Pre Lab

Learning’s from SUSS: In Stirling the main aim of the CityLab was to enable the public to channel their motivation and entrepreneurial initiative, by; Guiding people to relevant resources available Working with existing local providers and taking a central role ensures not doubling up on activity but becoming a good central signpost for local support. A flexible working space An open door policy and flexible working space allowed people to feel confident in using the space and afforded potential collaborations and a support network to each other. Introduction to City Lab Guiding questions were prepared before one to one meetings which really helped to capture the full picture of the projects but it was important to not stick too rigidly to these in a way that limited expression or intimidated people Identify ‘pre-pipeline’ business entrepreneurs Finding people who are already developing or have started an idea will support you to develop an entrepreneurial network at the start of your SUS initiative, and this group become the ideal candidates for city centre ventures to be implemented in units.


Flexible ‘messy’ space Maintaining a welcoming space that can be adapted by participants gives them the confidence to use the space and feel ownership of the space. Create a conduct of space use Regular users maintained activities to keep the space clean but one off users neglected space-user duties. Ideal to create a basic code of conduct for all users. Formal Checks A balanced approach to the awareness of specific formal requirements is needed from the CityLab team. This should avoid making the space use too restricted, but cautious of formalities like CRB checks for space users working with young people and awareness of events licensing and governing insurance policies.


Shop Preparation

Call out

1 to 1’s


Create a strong brand presence for the Lab both inside and outside of the space. Create a clear message for the function, intention & programme that will be run for passers by

Run a call out for your core ventures you will support over the three months. Access local networks and start with people who are already developing their business or idea

Block in time to run 1 to 1s with each participant to develop their business idea over the period they are with the City Lab

Run a series of workshops, one a week is ideal to support your participants to develop their ventures


Programme End

Pop Up City Lab

Venture Tests



Open ‘Pop Up City Labs’ once a month are ideal to get local buy in to the City Lab and to generate potential new ventures for the City Lab with the public

Once a month, create the time in the Lab diary for participants to test our their venture ideas with the public. A weekend day is ideal for passing trade

Hold a ‘Programme End’ party and allow time for reflection and support for where the venture participants may go next. This may be to secure funding, enter a unit or take on a lease themselves.

On some occasions, ventures that have been developed in the City Lab, are ideal to trial in available units or public spaces, but this route may not be for everyone


Start Up Street Manual 1.0

Start Up Street Manual 1.0

Start Up Street values Essentially Start Up Street is an umbrella brand that provides an overarching brand for civic activities happening in a place

The City Lab

Key Activities: Secure City Lab Space Create a rolling programme Set up shared working space Set up Online Presence Secure Local Partners + networks Create a management structure Set up a CRM Platform

Who is involved?

The Funder

eting Plan

The Activators


The Broker

Local Champions

Secure City Lab Space There are pointers in this manual about securing a space. A City Lab does not have to be in a retail unit, however, the more visible the presence centrally the better. Create a rolling programme Have a clear and open plan of the support you can provide to people. Make this a repetitive programme so you do not become over subscribed to deliver.

Ground Team

There are some key principles that underpin Start Up Street and for councils and local authorities to back initiatives of this type, we believe these principles will keep you right in terms of moving into a facilitative role for civic action in your place.

Start Up Street Manual by SUS Consortia is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at http:// This means you are free to share and build upon this work. We appreciate if you feedback your developments back into the wider Start Up Street community at the central website.

Set up shared working space Secure wifi and create a space with a friendly and colourful brand that makes the public feel at ease. Set up Online presence for CityLab Share the programme you are running online for the public and potential participants to see and sign up for what’s going on in the City Lab. Secure local partners and networks Reach out to local business speakers, students, people with skills to come in and run workshops in the lab. Create a packed agenda of both training for your incubator participants and more general talks and workshops for the public to sign up to.

Strategic Positioner

This manual cannot tell you the route to run Start Up Street. It does however, give you pointers on some of the how and lessons learned in our pilot in Stirling.

Openness and Transparency Be open with the public. Make information around rents accessible to the public and up to date between the core SUS team. The more you can share with the public, the more involved they can be in your SUS initiative.

Lead and create a vision As a local authority, take on a facilitative role and make it easy for the public to take up opportunities in city centres and public space. Provide regular opportunities and upfront information about the commitment to each of these.

Create Roles Consider your town team as the Start Up Street team. Work this into your place strategy and ensure you craft out a flexible role.

Create a management structure Ensure you have the City Lab manned at all times with people who have the knowledge on the programmes being run. Set up a CRM platform The City Lab will gain attention from it’s central location. Set up a CRM system so you can document who visits and for what purpose. This will be useful at a later stage when you need support, want to advertise events or run a call out for ideas.


Start Up Street Manual 1.0

Support Use of Space Support the public to work with you to turn their ideas into a reality. Your role is to create as many opportunities as possible for the public to kick off new civic ideas.

Skills and sharing At the heart of SUS, this is about new skills and sharing assets. Ensure that your measurements focus on this element of the initiative and that your SUS activities aim towards skills development of local people.

Prototype Understand and create open milestones for your SUS initiative. Test out ideas and be comfortable with sometimes unknown outcomes.

Co-Create Work with the public to make new ideas a reality. Plan with them from the offset of any new development and involve them throughout the process.

Remove Barriers Remove as many barriers as possible to initiating new ideas. Take on a facilitative role and make the process of starting something new easy for the public.

Start Small As an organic process, Start Up Street can grow over time. It does not need a large upfront investment but should work on tying together a series of smaller initiatives and showcasing the benefit of these to create a larger investable case. Start Up Street is a collaboration between: Nurture your community People are everything to Start Up Street. Nurture and grow a core SUS Club who will work with you to make civic ideas a reality.

Action and follow up Always follow up on your promise. Show action being taken when you have listened to feedback and worked with the public.

Honesty Honesty goes along way. Being honest and open about potential future scenarios, timescales and barriers you face will gain you respect of the public.

Icecream Architecture | Stirling Council | Architecture and Design Scotland | We Are Snook |


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Start Up Street Manual  

A manual for other places to undertake the Start Up Street process

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