Page 1

Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

Building conditions to kickstart ventures for civic impact Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

1


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

The changing role of town centres and High Streets “High Streets and town centres that are fit for the 21st century need to be multifunctional social centres, not simply competitors for stretched consumers. They must offer irresistible opportunities and experiences that do not exist elsewhere, are rooted in the interest and needs of local people and will meet the demands of a rapidly changing world. They need to be a canvas, somewhere to celebrate local talent, to hold a festival, tell a story, explore it’s history, learn a new skill, make something original.� AMT: 21st Century Town Centres

2


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

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.

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. ANDY KENNEDY, City Centre Initiative Manager, 2013

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

3


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

4


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

The Start Up Street Stirling Process This report tells the story of Start Up Street; what it is, why it happened, who was involved and what we learned. This report has been intentionally written as a story because the process has been organic, sometimes a journey into the unknown. It showcases a series of events that took place, primarily between September 2011 and April 2013 that were prototyped over two years to investigate how an initiative could be developed to build the conditions to kick start civic innovaton and achieve impact in city and town centres. This is Stirling’s story of creating Start Up Street, it was done our way because that was what worked. Our intention in sharing the story is to communicate the learning about what worked and why, and what didn’t and why so you, if you choose, can take on an idea like Start Up Street and tell your story, your way, in your place. In this report are the overview, the story and the manual of Start Up Street. This includes reflections, recommendations and learnings from the Start Up Street Stirling Pilot from September 2011 – April 2013 from Andy Kennedy, with contributions from Snook, Ice Cream Architecture, Architecture & Design Scotland and Joelle Russell from Stirling Council.

icecream

architecture

5


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

The Challenge UK High Streets are recognised as local job providers and important hubs of social interaction and cohesion. High Streets in the UK are facing serious challenges. These include the rise of online and mobile retail and large shopping centres on the outskirts of towns and cities resulting in the closing of shops. This is affecting town centres across the UK and Stirling is one of them. The closing of a retail store has a circular knock on effect. There is a reduction in footfall, performance of other nearby stores is weakened and the surrounding area gets weaker increasing the likelihood of further store closures results. This has an impact in community cohesion and can lead to increased anti social behaviour and decrease in property values. Getting Local: Stirling and King Street The Urban Ideas Bakery run by the British Council in October 2010 put focus on King Street, a connecting high street between Murray Place and Baker Street, or in asset terms, the Thistle shopping centre and Stirling Castle. Two bookends of Stirling City Centre. In November 2011, King Street had eight vacant units which were not owned by Stirling Council putting the street above the national average sited in 2011 as nearly 1 in 6 shop fronts standing vacant.1

King Street’s de-generation include some key drivers not all related directly to the recession from 2009 onwards. These include: // Planning Constraints // Speed of access to the area // City transport infrastructure // Parking charges and locations // Property costs // Business rates costs // Increased regulation has a disproportionate impact on small businesses // Increased customer choice including the internet, i.e Catalogues and Home Delivery // A change in working patterns //10 Corporate decisions that change footfall patterns ie. Bank buildings into Leisure uses All of this adds into the blend of a city centre High Street which is seeing shop fronts close and civic activity decreasing. Additionally there is a low flow of footfall in the city during the day from students as both College and University are situated on the edge of the city.

From research conducted in the early stages of this initiative in 2011, it was clear people still wanted to buy on the High Street, parcicularly visitors from neighbouring areas like Bridge of Allan for boutique goods. Secondary to this, not everyone wanted to buy online.

6

1

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills/Genecon and Partners (2011) Understanding High Street Performance


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

7


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

The Opportunity Start Up Street Stirling was inititiated building on a series of policy development and the hands on Urban Ideas Bakery in 2010 Start Up Street is a response to a decline in the city centre of Stirling. In 2008 a City Centre Healthcheck identified that vacancies were on the rise, particularly in King Street, and that there were issues with pedestrian numbers, patterns of use and perceptions of safety. Stirling is a medieval city in a stunning landscape setting. However, Open for Business, the economic strategy, identified poverty and lack of positive destinations as challenges, as well as a need to change the city centre offer. In response to a city visioning exercise for the local development plan, it was decided to host an Urban Ideas Bakery in the city centre with the British Council as part of their ‘Creative Cities’ initiative. The Urban Ideas Bakery is a participatory, co-design process, whose aim is to create deliverable scaleable and impact-oriented projects with and for people. In Stirling, Andy Kennedy, City Centre Initiative Manager, hosted the event through the economic partnership and people engaged in a new way. Designed by Ted Matthews, international service designer, chaired by Karen Houghton, an urban visionary and facilitated by ‘bakers’ from all over Europe, it brought together nearly 50 people to the city centre for three days to develop solutions. A series of solutions were designed, a short term, medium term and long term solution. Start Up Street Stirling has built upon Stirling Says and has prototyped Stirling Spaces. The Start Up Street manual focuses on the final long term solution and acts as a guide to the mindset and actions needed to be undertaken to achieve connected, citizen driven thinking and action around place.

8

“It is our vision that Stirling will be a place with opportunities for all, where there is trust and respect between all the communities that inhabit our city, where we can share spaces and opportunities, and take shared responsibilities for making this happen. We want to start realising this vision in the centre of our city, a space that can be our shared place. Our city centre has many challenges and barriers, and we hope to overcome these with solutions that deliver our vision. We hope that the Urban Ideas Bakery can be the starting point for further change.” URBAN IDEAS BAKERY, British Council, October 2010


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

SHORT TERM SOLUTION

LONG TERM SOLUTION

// STIRLING SAYS

The Long Term Solution ties all the solutions together. It is informed by and informs the other solutions:

The bakers that worked on the short-term solutions delivered street blogs and a discussion site www.Stirlingsays.com. Films and images of local people’s ideas, feedback and dreams were posted here.

MEDIUM TERM // STIRLING STORIES Stirling Stories is a trail through the city where you will be connected to the places and spaces through narratives written by the people of Stirling themselves. These are the hidden gems of the city, private, privileged and intimate. It gives locals the opportunity to take ownership of the streets and their personal stories related to them. ‘This is the place where my mother proposed to my father’, ‘This is the place where we used to slide down the steps on my mothers tray’. The project will grow from a trail into a festival in which artists both local and international will be invited to render these stories into works of art. The narratives should grow along with the project.

// STIRLING HISTORICAL TRAILS Many lost historical stories are not experienced by the average visitor to Stirling. The buses roll into the castle car park and roll out again. Several historical trails are proposed to bring visitors into the town to experience the rich and varied histories of the city.

// STIRLING SPACES The empty shops on the main street of Stirling only reflect the disconnection between the old town and the modern shopping centre at the bottom of the hill. This space offers opportunity for activities that can reconnect communities to the centre of their city. The use of the empty shops linked also to the use of disused squares could contribute to an emotional rejuvenation of the area. Seasonal usage, usage connected to the other medium term solutions, democratic use of space, communities invited to ‘own’ the space for their own purposes could be worked up into a rolling series of shop usage.

STIRLING CITY CENTRE PROSPECTUS: RE-CONNECTING THE CITY CENTRE. A document to guide and inform future investment in the city centre of Stirling through connected thinking, the Prospectus will set out a vision for connected thinking about the future delivery of investment in the city centre, built on the following aims: // A connected process – continually building on the communities’ work done in the short and long term, ensuring and enabling the future of existing projects. // A socially connected city centre – a connected community through events, blog, increased involvement in city issues, etc. // Building individual aspirations – providing opportunities for individuals to learn and develop through broadening perspectives // A shared, informed vision for Stirling through dialogue and engagement with engaged and involved communities. // A physically connected city centre - connecting from Forthside to the Castle, overcoming missing links between the distinct areas, creating meaning in the undefined area between the main retail space (Thistle Centre) and the Top of the Town. This will be achieved by a framework of enabling activities and connections: // Small scale physical interventions to create a physically and mentally connected, accessible city centre. // Events to support the development of a more widely involvement of the community in the civic life of Stirling. // Evidence building through community engagement through respectful, meaningful and constructive engagement to feed into informed decisionmaking. // A process of continued learning from the community, the short- and medium-term activities and events.

9


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

The Opportunity High streets have to offer something new and different that neither shopping centres nor the internet can match. They have the potential to become 21st century civic hubs where the High Street could fulfill a space for socialising, culture, health, wellbeing, skills development and specialised retail outlets selling products and experiences. UK High Streets could be social places that make creative use of public spaces and become a vibrant cultural and social economy. The UIB project and Start Up Stret inititive commenced before The Portas Review was conducted but aligns with some of the recomendations set out by Mary Portas to breathe back economic and social capital into the UK’s local high streets. Whilst The Portas review makes good reccomendations on revitalising retail on the UK High Street, the practice of galvanizing a community to take action and build new ideas in our High Streets is more difficult than a simple idea or procured solution. It requires focused and steady growth of a community of interest to take action and this is where Start Up Street steps in to support this development of civic action and ideas.

10

The development of the Stirling City Centre Strategy lays the foundations for Start Up Street to continue as a series of activities in which to achieve the objectives set out in the report. As a people powered initiative, it can support the following objectives: // Improve Stirling City Centre’s performance and resilience by ensuring a diverse and sustainable economy // Build on Stirling City Centre’s reputation as a historic, tourist and cultural destination // Improve the linkage between Stirling Castle and the retail/ commercial core and integrate the Central Scotland Green Network concept throughout the City Centre and adjacent streets and spaces // Ensure the City Centre maintains its significant function as the civic hub for the wider Stirling area


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

The Solution Start Up Street: “Providing space to support people to do stuff in their place�.

11


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

Start Up Street 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:

The unusual suspects

Social capital and business formation

Creative asset management

Institutional collaboration

Identifying and engaging local people assets in the possibility of collaborating on ventures

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

Providing a focus for localised collaboration on resources and impacts

12


Le a

Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

Aw ar e

rn

ow Gr

Join

How does it work? 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:

Use

Aware

Join

Use

Grow

Learn

Re-frame local problems and opportunities to build the Start Up Street network

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

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.

Secure physical space. Connect partners, stakeholders, activators and people to physical assets to develop bespoke response to the brief from stage 1.

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.

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.

Inform participants about what to do, how it works and what’s expected.

13


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

What are the core principles? There are three core principles underpinning its values:

// Learning Place The Start Up Street community is an open and welcoming place to learn from each other, and from local partners. It seeks to build sustainable capacity for change using real world challenges in real places.

// Shared Space The Start Up Street community shares spaces, resources and values to develop and test ideas for impact. This is promoted through mutual sharing of risk, rewards and responsibility. It is enabled by use of existing empty spaces, open governance and clear communications.

// Organic Start Up Street responds to local demands and seeks to overcome local barriers to enterprise and citizenship. It is about responding to the challenge of ‘what is possible in this place’? Although the output differs from place to place, the outcome seeks to be the same; local chances for local people using local resources.

14


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

The Story The following section of this report is a documentation of the Start Up Street Stirling prototype running from 2011 to 2013. The initiative was a catalyst, built on momentum. in Stirling to bring together a range of city centre focused activities.

15 Street Interviews during Pop Up City Lab | September 2011


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

Introducing Start Up Street Stirling Start Up Street Stirling is a series of events that took place following a Service Designed Model of Start Up Street, focused primarily on King Street. This is a story which extends back from 2006 to April 2013.

2006

2007

2008

2009

Scottish Planning Policy 8

Town Centre and Retailing Methodologies, Hargest and Wallace

Stirling Health Check undertaken by DTZ

Stirling Visitor Survey Lynn Jones Research

Stirling City Visioning Exercise

Town Centres and Retailing Policy by Scottish Government, SPP 8 sets out the Executive’s policy for town centres and the key uses, particularly retailing, which contribute to their economic growth and enhancement. It replaces NPPG 8 Town Centres and Retailing, published October 1998.

The work carried out within this Report had the aim of providing background research for the preparation of formal Planning Guidance on the range of techniques indicated in SPP8 to support the planning for Town Centres and Retailing.

This study was undertaken in order to provide baseline information that allowed an assessment of the vitality and viability of the city centre. The report highlighted a rise in vacancy rates, limited leisure opportunities and lack of a City Centre strategy.

The findings of this research indicate that in in the first instance, Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument are the key factor in visitors choosing to come to the City. Nearly two thirds chose to stay outwith Stirling during their visit, and over half arrived by private car.

The Stirling City Visioning Exercise was carried out in collaboration with Architecture Design Scotland over a threemonth period in the summer of 2009. This was set against a desire to ensure new Development Plans be founded on a clear vision for the area. The main aim of the exercise was to set the context for, and provide input into, the preparation of the new Local Development Plan.

16


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

2009

Future City Game

Business Space Strategy Published

Learning Point 43 and Local High Streets Learning Network Launch

‘Open for Business’ Stirling Economic Strategy 20092013

Held as a specific city centre event as part of the LDP proces, the Future City Game considered the future role of the city centre. It was widely accepted within the workshop that whilst having some fantastic assets in the shape of ‘The Thistles’ shopping centre, the Castle, the Historic Old Town and the River, the City Centre was not perceived to be functioning as well as it could.

September 2009, some of the key aims of the Strategy were to analyse the existing business property market and stock, and provide estimates of the likely scale and type of future demand for business property.

Held in Stirling on February 12, 2009, the Local high Streets Learning Network Launch was held informing Scottish Government Learning Point 43 which called for Whole Town Centre Strategies to tackle town centre issues.

October 2008, a meeting was held requested by central independent businesses to discuss the city centre and way forward and actions following the Healthcheck by DTZ and future city game.

This was to include not only retail but other business development opportunities and bring back a sense of place making.

Published in November 2009, this document is derived from Stirling’s Single Outcome Agreement with the Scottish Government. The strategy is based on the principles of sustainable economic growth, innovation and enterprise, resilience and economic opportunity.

Informal discussion group

This group initially met in 2009 with the intention that it start to tackle the issues facing the City Centre comprehensively. To do so the group comprised a number of Council Officials, Councillors and local business owners.

It recognises the whole of the city as a key economic asset for the region, and stated that the Council would work to ensure a vibrant and successful city centre, which benefits the urban population, rural communities and visitors.

17


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

2010

2011

2011

Consolidated SPP

Urban Ideas Bakery

Stirling Economic Partnership

Start Up Street and Pop Up City Lab

ADS National Design Skills Symposium

In February 2010 the Government formally consolidated the older series of SPP documents into one document expressing national planning policy. It replaced the SPP8.

In October 2010, the Urban Ideas Bakery was held as a follow on from the future City Game session with input and facilitation by International British Council personnel, and Architecture and Design Scotland.

In April 2011 an Action plan was agreed that set out a vision for land use and ti support the city centre as a vibrant destination.

During the summer of 2011, the process of Start Up Street is developed by Snook in collaboration with the public, Stirling Council and Architecture Design Scotland. The initiative is branded and initial concept animations are produced to consider King Street as a hub of civic activity.

Architecture and Design Scotland hold an external professional seminar that considers Stirling City Centre development. It is a two day event workshop focused on the city centre.

Updated Health Check An updated health documents that vacancy has slightly risen and Zone A rental costs had softened.

18

Start Up Street Stirling builds upon the outcomes of this event.

This was agreed at the Executive Delivery Group of community planning structures.

In September 2011, Snook run a Pop Up City Lab in the Stirling Arcade to introduce the concept of SUS and detail with participants how it might work. 4 workshops are held and a film of the public discussing Stirling City Centre is produced.

As an outcome, a document, ‘Stirling Skills Symposium: Red Team’ is produced which focuses on ideas for the city centre and calls for a Civic Heart to be introduced as an additional layer to planned physical improvements. This includes an increase in artisan led shops.


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

2011

2012

Service Design for Start Up Street

Creative Industry Forum and Made in Stirling

Stirling Economic Partnership and proposed local development plan

Tax Office Charette

Snook produce a Service Design for supporting the development of a SUS Club and City Lab process of micro incubation, led by a competition process.

Joelle Russell, who is leading research into the creative industries in Stirling joins the project to lead on a Creative Industry shop opening as part of the SUS brand.

In April 2012, the Stirling Economic Partnership discusses the City Centre Strategy development process.

On November 5th, 2012, a community of designers and creatives came together in the Old Tax Office in Stirling to explore the feasibility of adapting the building for productive use. This workshop came on the back of a crowd funding proposal to Spacehive and the Association of Town Centre Management to support the conversion of the building into a community led temporary hotel.

This is documented in a report released in December 2011.

This is developed from the formation of the Creative Industry Forum and collective called Made In Stirling form to take on the first shop in Murray Place. Ice Cream Architecture join the project to manage this prototype Pop-Up Shop from the 1st July to September 2012.

Stirling Council launch a Proposed Local Development Plan, a key strategic document, setting out a vision that will shape the future of the Stirling area for the next 20 years. The focus on the town centre is to support the City Centre as a vibrant shopping destination and reduce expenditure leakage.

City Lab

Ice Cream Architecture launch Stirling Citylab, a business incubator focused on boosting jobs and enterprise in Stirling City Centre. The goal was to promote increased creative activity and enhance the local economy. The initiative supports over 40 local people to develop their business ideas inside a physical lab, setup inside the old Shoe Zone on King Street.

The Made In Stirling shop takes up a second residence on King Street from October to December.

19


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

Start Up Street Stirling Initiation Start Up Street Stirling began from conversations between Architecture and Design Scotland, Snook and Stirling Council. The project was built on momentum from previous events and reports, notably the Urban Ideas Bakery which was hosted by the British Council in Stirling in 2010. Building on this, conversations between Stirling Council, Architecture Design Scotland and Snook, in early 2011, explored what might be done to support King Street and the challenge of empty shop units. It was discussed that if start up business could replace the covered shop fronts a sense of vibrancy could be injected into King Street. A project was developed over the summer to pull together ideas and a process that would mobilise a community and build a service to map out how Start Up Street Stirling would work. A live brand was built for Start Up Street. This included an animation visualising what the future of Start up Street might look like, creating an online presence and logo to pull together events and activities happening around King Street.

20

Running a Pop Up City Lab The Pop Up City Lab in King Street took place in a disused space in Stirling Arcade in September 2011. A Pop Up City Lab is an experience that invites the public, local stakeholders, business owners and the Council to proactively discuss issues and opportunities in a space about the city. Snook ran two street interventions which were concentrated on facilitating public opinion on King Street and their feedback on the concept of Start Up Street. Snook ran three ticketed workshops where a wide range of people attended development workshops to discuss the concept and consider how Start Up Street might work in practice.


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

The development workshops consisted of; Thinking about Ventures This workshop looked at what assets are available in the city and how this translates into ventures inside shops. Exciting Idea Generation This event was to look at existing ideas generated and how these could be made a real possibility. Ideas were generated on how a City Lab could operate as a venture incubator and maintain a pipeline of ventures ready for units becoming available on King Street. This was to continuously support the process of ventures going into temporary units and provide a space for a Start Up Street community. Idea Generation with a Commercial Context This event was about bringing local business together and investigating how they could add value to their own enterprise by working with one of the ideas posted. The workshop also looked at the large commercial context around how King Street could become an offer to different customer segments from around Scotland. Doors Open Day This day was open to anyone who wanted to come and view the work and give their opinion on the concept. Further to this, the event allowed Snook to capture Stirling resident’s opinions and views on King street and retail in the area.

During the workshops we took an asset based approach, where groups mapped assets in Stirling City on a map. We broke assets down into: // Ideas // Places // People // Skills // Support // Knowledge We purposely took an open approach to the term ‘asset’ with the core focus of supporting people to think positively about possibilities in Stirling. We then supported groups to think about how these assets could be turned into micro enterprises and initatives that would work in a shop front for a short period of time. Using templates we mapped out ideas using the business model canvas to identify what assets would be used and what was needed.

21


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

Developing Ventures and public feedback Discussions were held around what Start Up Street Stirling is, how a City Lab works and what was possible with assets in the city Understand the customer base

Utilising existing talent

From the ‘Idea Generation with Commercial Context’ workshop, we worked with business owners and Stirling Castle to discuss the need to understand what customers the city currently attracts and to get smarter about attracting new customer segments to the city. A theme that developed through this workshop was to run ‘King Street offers’ so ventures had to work together to deliver under a theme or concept at certain times of the year. The idea behind this was to make King Street a vibrant and attractive place to visit from other local areas and Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee.

As part of the prototype Snook worked with Place Station to map assets in terms of open spaces, support and ideas and place these on a google map around Stirling. Through open invitation Snook met a range of exciting people with skill sets that could help set up Start Up Street in return for spaces and opportunities within the project. Web development and marketing skills are key to helping the project set up and this offer was made explicit by several people that if they could be given the use of the Arcade space that this could be swapped for development time.

The ideas

Investment from Public Sector

Many ventures were similar in idea or theme. Discussions focused on how shop spaces would host 3-4 ventures at a time so that shifts could be shared on running the shop front around work life.

Public sector organisations were in attendance at the workshops and during discussions on the concept of the City Lab it was discussed that public (and private) sector organisations could invest money into venture spaces to open them up for people to run pop up business. The condition would be that if they had targets to meet and the ventures could help fulfil these then they would be able to invest. For example, if the local police had to drive youth crime down then they could invest some of the budget allocated to this aim into a shop front on the condition that the venture(s) that filled the space would run a set of diversionary activities for young people that would help work towards the investors target. This type of capital investment would allow shops to be opened up and kitted out ready for launch.

The core themes were: Arts and Crafts Business Ideas Business Ventures Cafes and food IT and teaching Kids Outdoor Services Shops2

22

Participants discussed that whilst Start Up Street is a mechanism for opening shop fronts, ventures should support both social and economic value to the street and city.

2

All the ideas and themes can be found on the Start Up Street website in the 2011 report


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

“I would like King Street to have a shop for young people to train and learn new skills.” POP UP CITY LAB PARTICIPANT, City, Stirling, 2011

A social Contract for Stirling A concept floated during the workshops was testiment to the asset based approach around how making connections in the city could operate. David Halcro is a furniture maker on the outside of the city. At the workshop, two members of the local police attended. Discussions turned towards driving down City Centre Crime. The idea discussed was around local authorities and public sector creating ‘social contracts’. The authorities would pay for the rent via a Community Interest Company and create ‘free’ spaces for members of the public to undertake. This was in return for supporting an objective of the authority. In David’s case, moving into the City Centre would provide him the opportuntiy to sell his furniture and increase his profile. In return, for the police, he could put on diversionary activities for young people to learn how to build basic furniture. This was a core idea developing from the workshop around the public and authorities working together for mutual benefit.

23 Ideas being developed at Pop Up City Lab | September 2011


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

Bringing Making to the High Street On the Saturday public day of the Pop Up City Lab we met a local who works with a 3D modelling machine.

People need business support The Pop Up City Lab produced a large amount of venture ideas. What became apparent was that participants had a good grasp on the concept of selling products or services to produce profit but many admitted they’d need support to deliver the ventures and develop a concrete business plan. Start Up Street took this into consideration in the initial blueprints to develop a city lab that could support enterprises and individuals;

“I’d be really happy to run this and I have some ideas on how it would make money but I’d need support to make this happen with the numbers” - POP UP CITY LAB PARTICIPANT, City, Stirling, 2011

24

One concrete example we discussed with him was bringing in the 3D modelling machine from his company into a shop front, which could operate similar to a Fab Lab (A Fab Lab is generally equipped with an array of flexible computer controlled tools that cover several different length scales and various materials, with the aim to make “almost anything”) If this machine was brought into the city centre the company could offer both products and services; // Teach people to use computer aided modelling software and create models // Sell parts of hoovers, bespoke pieces for products that were missing / had to be bought online. // Sell products, models made from machine that the company have developed // Produce models made by the public // Create bespoke pieces and sell these as products for Start Up Street, this would be an ideal venture which would provide value on multiple levels, economic, social and skills development.


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

Participants from Pop Up City Lab | September 2011

25


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

The development of Made In Stirling Focusing Start Up Street on the existing local Creative Industries gave Start Up Street Stirling form and a push towards action During late 2011, Joelle Russell from Stirling Council attended Start Up Street Stirling development meetings. To gain traction, Joelle began compiling a business case for a concept, ‘Made in Stirling’, a space and collective of Creative Industry makers from the area. Joelle built upon the blueprint developed by Snook which detailed a call out for participants and building on a local network. Made in Stirling was to become the second prototype of Start Up Street Stirling. During October 2011 and April 2012 Joelle had conducted research into the Creative Indsutries in Stirling to identify demand from local people and businesses to engage in joint marketing, promotion and retail of their goods. It was decided from workshops in October 2011 with local creatives at the Tolbooth that the establishment of a group called the Stirling Creative Industries Forum would support bringing together Stirling’s Creative Industry groups and businesses. The SCIF was linked to the Stirling Business panel which also linked in with a Food & Drink panel representing good food and drink businesses in Stirling City Centre.

26

The council and Stirling Economic Partnership backed the representation of the creative sector and the SCIF. This was seen as an opportunity to extend the panel to support self-employed people, home based businesses and people working freelance. This dovetailed with Start Up Street plans to open a shared shop front on King Street, echoing feedback from the initial Pop Up City Lab to jointly run shop fronts.


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

Development workshop with Snook | December 2011

27


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

Building a business case for the project Creating a project business plan to secure a long-term vacant unit on a temporary short lease supported the launch of the forum Building on the formation of the Stirling Creative Industries Forum, Joelle built a project business plan. The core idea built on plans for Start Up Street Stirling and focused on securing a long-term vacant unit on a short-term lease from July to September 2012 that around thirty local artists, designers and makers could occupy. Building on the reccomendations from the Stirling Creative Industries Study undertaken by Joelle, the shop aimed to: // Focus activities on delivery with multiple partners // Allow local creatives to test the sale of their goods on the high street // Launch initiative for the Creative Industries Forum // Increase collaboration by artisans, businesses, entrepreneurs. // Provide shared retail / exhibition space over the summer months to local arts and crafts businesses. // Provide access to city centre tourism market for arts and crafts businesses from across Stirling area, including rural Stirling. // Bring visibility of Stirling’s wealth of arts and crafts talent and produce to visitors and residents // Increase footfall in surrounding area // Provide positive use for otherwise vacant unit // Promote events – e.g. being held in Tolbooth, Macrobert, by Creative Stirling, exhibitions at the Smith, etc. // Provide information on creative and cultural attractions Further to this, the growth of the Creative Industries as outlined in the report could also help to meet some of the strategic objectives outlined in the City Centre Plan in relation to learning for life, work and wellbeing, diversifying Stirling’s economy; and, removing barriers to employment.

28

Support from Stirling Council Joelle put together a brief business plan with support from Stirling City Council colleagues, notably Andy Kennedy, the City Centre Initiative Manager. The project received support and commitment of £5,000 from Stirling Council to cover rent and additional project costs. This funding could not be allocated to another business/organisation (e.g. not to be used as a grant award), but could be used to cover costs invoiced direct to Stirling Council. Although the project budget was agreed through Economic Support & Tourism, Joelle worked closely with Andy Kennedy, City Centre Manager and identified potential to use the project as a pilot for the wider Start Up Street Stirling initiative. This project was ideal to produce learnings on future projects utilising vacant commercial premises and has been integral to producing the Start Up Street manual.


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

29 Development workshop with Snook | December 2011


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

Locating a vacant shop space Acquiring a space was crucial in the shift from taking the project from a state of talking and ideation, to a space of doing. The initial SUSS team had difficulties in engaging with any landlords regarding the acquisition of space. Architecture and Design Scotland then brought Ice Cream Architecture (ICA) (as Somewhere_to) on board to support with the acquisition.

It became clear that landlords want their units available for potential longer term lease at commercial rental level, therefore it transpired that ICA and SCIF had to be specific about intended use.

The original focus had been on King Street in Stirling city centre. This street had been the focus of SUSS, with a particularly high number of vacant units.

Switching focus to Murray Place

SUSS had been working with Icecream Architecture to try and secure low cost temporary leases for the SUSS project. Sarah Frood and Desmond Bernie from Icecream Architecture were already liaising with landlords with vacant property on King Street, plus a number of other city centre streets that Andy Kennedy had provided them with information on. Joelle contacted Sarah and Desmond in early May 2012 to support securing a short-term lease specifically for the SCIF project. Securing a short-term lease Liasing with landlords on King Street was not a straightforward process. Rent was offered to landlords but this produced little interest and even though premises were advertised as ‘under offer’ landlords were not interested in lowering the rent for a short-term lease. Secondly, many landlords live abroad and their interest is in the capital value of the property rather than the rental income.

30

Proving difficult to secure a unit by end of May 2012, focus moved towards Murray place, Friars Street and Port Street. Joelle negotiated a 3 month temporary lease for a unit next to Tiso, outside of the Thistles Shopping Centre. The property agent confirmed that they would lease the unit for three months to Stirling Council for £4000. At the same time, Joelle made enquries about 58 Murray Place, the former Body Shop Unit which had reminaed vacant since January 2011. The unit was owned by Stirling Development Agency (SDA), a 50/50 joint partnership between Stirling Council and Valad Property Group. Joelle was able to negotiate a short-term lease on 58 Murray Place from 1st July to 30th September 2012 to the project for £100 per month, covering building insurance.


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

31 58 Murray Place | Summer 2012


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

Raising support for the project It was critical for the running of the Made In Stirling to create a strong force of volunteers and community behind the initiative An intention of SUS is to act as a catalyst and present opportunities for locals to get behind. Joelle worked with Garry Freckleton, a local architect who had already begun to contact local artists and people involved in Stirling creative industries to form a group. Together, Joelle and Garry identified a cross section of people involved locally in creative industries to invite to a first Stirling Creative Industrues Forum meeting. This group formed the initial SCIF Steering Group. The first steering group meeting was scheduled for 23 May 2012. The plan for a pop-up shop business plan was floated a week prior to the meeting. There were positive leads on who might be able to support the pop-up shop project. There were members that were looking for premises to run an arts and crafts collective which had been similar to the Mugdock Makkers model. Additionally there was another member who was looking to increase the awareness of their business and presence in the city centre. When the project was floated at the Steering Group, members were concerned that a Pop-up shop in the given time frames would not be possible. Focus was put on establishing the collective and creating a permanent venture so there was uncertainty around a temporary project. Discussion focused around an exhibition as opposed to a Pop-up shop but this was not an ideal direction as the PopUp shop business plan had to have a commercial focus.

32

Managing the Pop-Up Shop Project At the meeting it was agreed the project would need day to day management which was not possible by Joelle who had other commitments to Stirling Council. It was confirmed that the Council couldn’t directly employ someone to manage the project so alternatives were considered. Joelle reviewed the SCIF members, their experience and credentials but felt no one was in the position to take on full time management of the shop. At this point, Joelle asked ICA if they would be able to take on management of the project to cover fit-out of the unit, a call for volunteers and management of the spaces and volunteers. With short timescales, it was agreed to commission the services of Icecream Architecture to manage the space


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

Signing the lease Using a CIC model allowed the Made In Stirling shop to apply for full rates relief from Stirling Council It became clear that only charities and Community Interest Companies (CICs) can claim rates relief and that it was not possible for the council to be exempt from Commercial Property rates even if this was a not for profit project. At the same time of adjusting project costs and working out the lease, ICA had secured offices at 8 Spittal Street in the former Inland Revenue Building and were looking at developing a creative workspace within them. To manage this project, ICA set up a CIC. ICA registered the new CIC which was possible before July 1st to sub-lease 58 Murray Place and claimed rates relief and became the lead occupant. Stirling Council’s Rates Team advised that there would need to be a formal sublease of license between Stirling Council and Icecream Architecture. A a sub-lease/license agreement was drawn up between the Council and ICA reflecting the terms in the lease between SDA and Stirling Council with extra permission granted to sub-lease the unit to ICA. Head of Economy, Planning and Regulation signed off the lease. The local issue of business rates exemption for 58 Murray Place was not resolved between ICA and Stirling Council. Consequently the business rates payment from the allocated budget secured by the City centre Initiative Manager, impacted on the finance available to deliver the CityLab project plan.

33


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

Preparing the shop Contacting and utilising local sponsors for the shop fit out supported reducing the overall cost of shop setup Before signing the lease, Joelle visited the premises with the Council Asset Management (CAM) team who took photos and prepared a condition report. The previous tenant had ripped out the interior fittings, including electrical cables. There were holes left in the walls and window displays had been destroyed. There was a realisation at this point that to bring the shop up to a usable standard, the project would run over budget. ICA encouraged Joelle to investigate securing sponsorship from local business and support from community to reduce the cost of the fit out. Contacting Sponsors A key lesson in securing sponsorship was to have an exact story of what the intention of the pop-up shop was. Additionally the weight of the council on board influenced the decision for potential investors. Support for trades came from Olgivie Construction. This covered the cost of a plumber, joiner, painter and decorater providing the costs of the materials could be covered. Support for electrical trade came from the Director of Stirling Electrical Services. The company visited the unit and following more detail on the project sponsored electrical trades providing material costs could be covered. In return for sponsorship of electrical trades, Joelle asked SCIF Steering Group members if they could put together a media package for Stirling Electrical. An agreement was made with

34

Tartan Penguin Media, Paul Saunders Media & Photography and Small Majority for a package consisting of press release/ promotion in local press, corporate photography and a corporate video. The display units were inspired by the work of Karen Mcpherson whose work was on show at the Scottish Parliament’s “Design and Democracy” event. The event showcased pop up shop stands made from standard size flat pack Norbord Plywood. The SUSS team had been inspired by how these could be flat packed post shop and re-used elsewhere in future project developments. Norbord are based in Cowie in the Stirling Council area and were approached to sponsor. Unfortuneatly their Norbord sheets of Plywood were not ready but kindly supplied MDF sheets from their local plant. As the cost of the fit out and shop preparation was reduced this left budget over for project management but still meant the project was over budget. However, the model the shop was built on meant there was income to be generated from hiring spaces to creatives and charging commission.


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

Top Left: Karen Mcpherson show at Design and Democracy | Rest: Preparation for 58 Murray Place

35


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

Call out for participants Reaching out to the Creative Industry community in Stirling to apply to take part in the Made In Stirling Initiative With ICA as the ‘SUS Ground Team’ a role that had been needed to get the project kick started, they put out a call for ideas. ICA put out a call for creatives to exhibit and retail their work, with a licence put in place for each committing a daily fee for the space, payment of commissions and time to volunteer to help towards staffing. The participation of the project was subject to a £5.00 licence fee per day and a 25% commission was charged on all sales reducing to 15% on sales over £100. Participants were asked to submit a short proposal and a practice profile which was selected by a panel of local creatives. The SCIF held final discretion as to who would be involved. Each participant was expected to offer staffing time within their proposal. Participants were also invited to offer mentorship support or could request mentors for their time in the pop-up shop. Finally, participants were required to become part of the SCIF and register at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SCIF-registration. The participants were prepped with supporting material to ensure consistency and a united front in the shop. Information guidelines were sent out documenting profile layout, inventory lists to document their work and set prices using a product coding system. Participants were also asked to sign an agreement which set out responsibilities between the space holders, ICA, and the space user, the artists. This document had to be signed by a witness.

36


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

Top Left and clockwise: Product Coding, Inventory Lists, Signed agreement, Application form, Made in Stirling Information, Code of Practice

37


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

Made in Stirling The Made In Stirling shop, an initiative of SCIF launched on the 31st July. A collection of artists and designers came together to sell their products at 58 Murray Place Artists volunteered their time and also paid £5 per day to hire spaces and contributed 25% commission on sale of goods under £100 and 15% on sale of goods over £100. With ICA managing the Made In Stirling Pop-up shop, Paula Morgan, one of Creative Stirling’s volunteers manned the shop 2 days per week and worked at making sales and building relationships between exhibitors. Making connections with other local business provided useful and the shop next door held keys and provided access to their internet. As an additional sales activity, a ticketing system was introduced to Made InStirling for arts agencies in the town, including Creative Stirling, Artlink central and Forth Valley College. Macrobert and Creative Stirling provided significant input into manning the shop, including a fully trained member of staff to operate the checkout and ticketing booth MondaySaturday.

38

As ICA were project managing one of the difficulties was that responsibility fell to them if there was an issue to be resolved. It is important with a group coming together to run a pop-up shop that there is time given for the initiative to be owned by the community involved. Made in Stirling’s first artists included: Sarah Coey Michael Gale Sue Myles Libby Yule Haldis Hughes Catherine Saskia Froy Studio 38 (Lesley Mcdermott, Susan Mcintosh and Angie Mclaren) Paul Mcdonald Lorna Dairon Jon Piccolo Alan Robinson David Halcro Steven Walker Alison Anderson Stirling Architects Association Diana Hand Pam McGibbon


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

“Really good to see profile of town centre changing – innovative Scottish/ Stirling outlook. Ideal for locals and tourists a like.” MADE IN STIRLING CUSTOMER, City, Stirling, 2011

“Shops looking great – good range of prices and something to inspire most people! A workshop area would be good if you had enough room.” MADE IN STIRLING CUSTOMER, City, Stirling, 2011 Made In Stirling Opening | 31st July 2012

39


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

Artist feedback on the shop

Space and layout The minimalist layout was well received and the shop pulled off a high class aesthetic. Main feedback was around the stands being more customisable. // Interior is warm and welcoming, well lit, well displayed with a interesting mix of Art/craft. Good space to walk around and no excessive clutter. // I like the simple white dĂŠcor and sufficient lighting. I found upper shelves are good for display of inexpensive jewellery. The lower shelves are dark and partially obscured by the upper shelves. Perhaps the daily charge should be less for a lower shelf?

40

// A few thoughts regardinf shelves in an alternative venue; Should upper shelf be less deep than lower shelf? Could gaps for electrical cables be provided so that sellers could add lighting if desired. // I believe larger wall pieces would do better in a different environment e.g. where wall space is dominant e.g. a feature wall / stand alone exhibition in different premises or use or business/offices to play host to wall space.


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

Staff and management General feedback indicated that the collective of aritsts were appreciative to volunteers for running the space but with more time it would be ideal to form training and schedule of core staff to run the shop // Staff always welcoming and chatty. // Good communication from Paula. Regular emails with regards to development of project, exhibiting information details, sales breakdown and payments.

// I also found that it depended on who was working in the shop, as to whether or not they knew enough about my jewellery to be able to sell it well. I really needed to be there all the time to maximise on my space. This was also difficult, time wise. Meanwhile, whether or not my jewellery was sold, I was still paying rent. // If you have a core of regulars, then maybe a few “guest” spaces for a month could be at a higher rental and or commission. Melrosecrafters do this.

// Paula has been very helpful and I admire her commitment and work for the project’s success. // A rota of helpers would be ideal. If you help for a day, then you get the day free (just the day not the month!) // Well organised and accurate. Receiving the Sales Breakdown asap at the end of a ‘term’ is helpful so that artists know which items of stock need to be replenished

41


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

Exposure and sales From feedback on sales of artist products, the pop-up shop initiative boosted particpants confidence and was an ideal testing ground for testing prices, products and gaining increased exposure. // For me personally I have enjoyed participating and seeing all the other Artists work. Benefits other than sales include increased exposure of my work to a wider audience. Delighted at having an outlet for my art cards and prints. // Framed wall work, however has not been successful in terms of sales although, more positively I was approached by a Gallery as a direct result of my work being seen at MIS. // From a business point of view it has been very good to see what sells in a shop like ‘Made in Stirling’ and will definitely work as a good reference when approaching other shops with my designs. // I’ve been delighted with my level of sales. // The shop as a whole seems to fill out a gap in Stirling where design and art are sold in a gallery like style. It might be

42

beneficial for a shop like this if there was more stuff for sale so that more customers would choose to spend more money in the shop, which could all together lead to a higher turnout. // Speaking for myself, it has been a pleasure to see that my design works have been selling better than what I could have expected and I can only regret that I didn’t get involved before. // I am totally impressed with the shop in King Street and believe it is the exact setting to sell my work. I was delighted that my work was accepted for the shop and even more delighted when I sold on my first day! // I think most of us have been at craft fairs where we can spend £50 and more for just one day so to have shop space where someone else is selling your goods is Amazing!


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

Rates and cost to artists

Location

There are potentially more models to explore in terms of rates for the artists, including time banking, and space versus costs.

Having more diverse and locally produced products for sale in the city centre aligns with feedback from the public from the initial SUSS research.

// It was great and I did very well there. Unfortunately, though, I found it too expensive, which is why I decided not to continue.

// Stirling is the ideal place to have a store dedicated to selling the work of local artists and crafts people but unfortunately the town lacks any stores of individuality and is dominated by big chains.

// The problem I have is that I need a lot of space because the whole point of my jewellery is that people can choose from a large selection of beads and then I make the jewellery up on the spot. For that reason, it was too expensive to rent the space as it all took up too large and expensive an area. The rent, plus commission, meant that I actually ran at a loss.

// The opportunity for Stirling’s visitors to see and buy the work of local artists is excellent, long overdue and a much needed boost to the area out with the Thistle Centre. // I am extremely keen for the project to continue and I would be happy to offer any help I can. I’m so pleased to have found this going on in my home town at last! // It has been amazing to be able to showcase my cards in a shop in the centre of the town. // It has worked well for me as an artist and the general feedback I have heard is that local people appreciate being able to buy individual locally made goods

43


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

Next steps for Made in Stirling Handing over ownership of the shop to the artists allowed Made In Stirling to continue in a newly opened unit on King Street Andy Kennedy had confirmed at the end of September that Made in Stirling was to definitely run until the end of the year. The SDA had agreed to provide 58 Murray Place on the same terms and conditions until the end of the year. However the initial project plan for Made in Stirling was for the Pop Up Shop to run for three months until the end of September. It was decided at this stage that the project had to make a transition in ownership and be handed over to the artists to manage it themselves if they chose to. Stirling Council committed to fund the project until the end of the year. The Council proposed that if the artists involved could produce a business plan as to how the shop would be managed and run for an additional three month period the council would: Require £100 of monthly rent in advance, which was a good offer since the annual rent for the unit was around £25,000 p.a including rates. The rent of £100 per month would include: • Utilities – e.g. water and electricity • Building, contents and public liability insurance • Costs associated with alarm/security

44

Additional costs were likely to include: • Maintenance of shop interior / exterior • Cleaning products • Marketing and promotions – e.g. printing, signage and costs associated with events. • Phone line • Internet • Cash register (if desired) • Packaging/bags • Miscellaneous • Space heaters (58 Murray Place doesn’t have central heating) The business plan had to: // Identify who will be involved in managing the project. // Identify the different roles and responsibilities of those involved, e.g. responsibility for marketing/promotions, social media, branding, scheduling spaces, organising staffing, etc. // Outline how income to cover costs will be generated. Those preparing the business plan will have flexibility to determine commission levels, license fees, amount of space allocated to each artist, etc. plus any other means of generating income. // Outline a rough guide of additional costs to be covered, e.g. amount for marketing/promotions, etc. // Transaction processes/procedures e.g. cost of credit/debit card reader – and if additional funds are sought to cover this.


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

No individual artist had the time commitment to run the shop and people were worried that it was not making enough of a return to make it viable. There had been interest from Paul and Stephen who had achieved good sales from 58 Murray Place, however with other committments were unable to take on this responsbility fully.

The business plan should also identify how income and expenditure will be managed. Depending on whether or not there are any remaining funds from operation of the project over July to September, there may not be any cash to draw from, so all additional costs will need paid for when income is generated.

Consequently to allow an extended trading period Andy Kennedy identified funds supported by Economic Support Service to enable the project to be funded and managed to the end of March 2013

The plan should also include options/scenarios for a windup period for the project to finish at the end of the year, plus if desired, an outline scenario for how those involved plan to continue to run it as a self-sustaining enterprise. Any scenario for continuation of the project beyond 2012 will require identification of how rates will be paid or if a charity or Community Interest Company is to be established to operate it long-term. A meeting with the artists involved in Made In Stirling was held to continue the project. It became apparent at this stage that as the shop had only be officially open for two months there had not been a sufficient amount of time for relationships to have been built to the extent that the group felt comfortable to take on joint responsbility for management of the unit.

45


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

Moving Units Moving to 3 King Street allowed higher visibility and footfall in the lead to up to the Christmas period Joelle contacted the SDA to arrange continuation of the lease at 58 Murray Place and was informed that the lease could only be renewed on a month by month basis with no guarantee that it could be kept until the end of the year, with two parties expressing interest in taking on the unit. At this stage alternative units were investigated. 3 King Street was due to go through the facade enhancement scheme and was currently lying vacant. Joelle contacted the owner to find out if he would consider a short term let on a peppercorn rent to the Council for the Made in Stirling Shop. As the shop was undergoing the facade works, the shop was off the market. The owner let 3 King Street for ÂŁ100 per month until the end of December with entry kicking off in mid - October. Andy Kennedy agreed with Joelle to keep on 58 Murray Place temporarily beyond September and take a lease on 3 King Street so Made In Stirling could move seamlessly from one unit to the other. It was viewed that 3 King Steet, despite being smaller would be a prime location for Christmas shoppers and have a much higher footfall with greater visibility. Concern was raised around moving units, that customers may have to build up knowledge of the new location, but this was mitigated by deciding to hold a launch at 3 King Street. Opening on King Street Discussions took place regarding the management of the unit following relocation to 3 King Street. Through a management agreement, Creative Stirling undertook this role with a dedicated project manager that had been involved in the 58 Murray Place undertaking day to day management and

46

development. The contribution to the projects development by Paula Morgan as manager cannot be underestimated There were a couple of issues about gaining entry to 3 King Street. There was a delay in moving as the contracters who were undertaking the facade enhancement work were using the space for storage delaying the move until the 31st October. Joelle had also been informed that the unit interior would be painted white as part of the works but this did not happen. Paula was able to gather volunteers to support painting the interiors. Additionally, two of the artists from 58 Murray Place got involved in supporting the preparation of 3 King Street. Steven Walker constructed new shelving display units and painted them white. Paul McDonald secured paint from a local merchant which gives away/sells low cost damaged tins of paint. Signage for the shop was undertaken by a sign-writer and as part of the facade enhancement works, Stirling Council contributed a percentage towards this. The property owner drew up a temporary licence agreement, agreeing to provide the unit on a temporary license at ÂŁ100 per month until the end of January 2013. Due to building works, Joelle could not gain entry until 1st November but the shop successfully launched on the 3rd November. Following the move to 3 King Street, Made In Stirling traded beyond expectations over the Festive period. The financial figures and trading information were then used to inform potential interests in taking the business forward following withdrawal of public funding.


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

“Hunted whole of Stirling for a product made in Stirling and could only find it here! MADE IN STIRLING CUSTOMER, City, Stirling, 2012

Made In Stirling in 3 King Street | November 2012

47


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

Tax Office Hotel Charette Galvanizing a community of creatives around the old HMRC Building on King Street to explore future projects The intention of Start Up Street Stirling from the offset was to establish itself as an umbrella and catalyst for a collection of projects to empower citizens to work together and create new opportunites with spaces in town and city centres.

This testing was underpinned by a number of key questions:

On November 5th, 2012, a community of designers and creative came together in the Old Tax Office in Stirling to explore the feasibility of adapting the building for productive use. This workshop came on the back of a crowd funding proposal to Spacehive and the Association of Town Centre Management to support the conversion of the building into a community led temporary hotel.

// What are the necessary organisational and cultural issues to put in place to sustain a community led approach?

The proposal for the ‘Tax Hotel’ was to take over the vacated HRMC building and ignite an array of activities, performances, residencies, banquets, public art and development spaces to promote and cultivate creative talent. The idea of initiating change, creating demand and creatively exploiting the existing assets of the city centre form the basis of the proposal. It builds on a range of other temporary hotels that have developed in other areas in a range of contexts. The day was focused on re-imagining and exploring how the HRMC building might be adapted to become a co-working space for a creative community who create and manage a temporary hotel within the building. The purpose of the November workshop was to test the plausibility of the proposal submitted to Spacehive.

48

// What is the process of organising a community led solution to an existing building?

// How does the culture of the community express itself in the design of the proposition for a temporary hotel or other use, in spatial, service and management terms? This process of examination was considered necessary for three reasons: // To test, with a community of practice, the likely and possible issues that a community organised to take this project forward might need to engage with to demonstrate that the principle of a community led solution is plausible, achievable and sustainable internally within the community; // To test, on the basis of a narrative about what the possible offer to users of and investors in the building how credible and plausible the offer might be, and how this credibility is influenced by the culture and structure of the organisation promoting the building use; // To test with a group of creative thinkers what might be possible to re-invent the existing spaces as a different kind of facility within the broad constraints of the building footprint and with networked connections to existing surrounding city services.


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

Tax Office Hotel Charette | November 2012

49


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

Tax Office Hotel Charette The Tax Office Charette produced three key propositions and an agenda for flexible working and community building in Stirling Proposition 1: City Hub

Proposition 2: Creative learning space

Group 1 thought practically about how the space could work as a long term venture, choosing to maximise bedroom space on the second floor at the expense of having a large communal space as this would generate more income. The main communal arts space would be on the first floor with flexible uses made possible through interchangeable walls. There would also be scope for bed spaces on the first floor to enable and attract ‘artist in residence’ type users. The group also wanted to promote a variety of art activities such as an outdoor cinema on the roof terrace.

Group 2 focused on developing the space with an emphasis on learning and maintaining local identity - an arts space where people could develop and share new skills and a hotel which provoked and enabled learning about the city. In this context the building would be more than just a hotel it would be a place of importance for the whole city - ”Stirling’s heart”a centrally located hub which could involve or sign-post to other organisations or events in the city.

The group emphasised that the building should ‘not be an island’ by ensuring it was an outwardly focused hub which linked with events and spaces in the city like the Jail and the Junkyard and they discussed the need to involve and gather support from other bodies to achieve buy-in from the public. For instance, the cost of a bed space would come with tickets to visitor attractions, local cafes and other local activities. The venture would be supported by local business, through supporting local business. It was suggested that there was need for good spaces for performances and gigs in Stirling and a suitable space within the building could capitalise on this, providing an additional revenue stream. A possible partnership with Creative Stirling was identified as an organisation that could use the space as a base for their events, and perhaps act as custodian or manager.

50

It was felt that the key to developing a successful space was to gather the right balance of people skills and this would likely include ‘Made in Stirling’, ‘Creative Stirling’ and other creative voices in the city. One of the group proposals was the idea of “Bands in the bunk beds” - a free space for musicians, performers and artists who come to the city to stay for a night, or perhaps perform, which may encourage more talent to come the city. The group began to think about the physical changes to the building including the car park becoming a covered artist space with active artwork and graffiti wall. They proposed to use the 1st floor and balcony as a bar/ restaurant and event space. The 2nd floor would be split into working areas, as there would be less noise and distractions, and would include ‘chill-out areas’ with planting and places for hotel staff to eat lunch.


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

around creating an energy and enthusiasm for the project - a ‘spark’ - throwing around ideas but most importantly engaging with the community, and getting people into the building to engage with the space. A website, social media, community posts and launch evenings would all play a part here. The next period would be reflective – a chance to step back, assess and then begin to develop a framework to deliver the project including establishing a core team of members with clearly defined roles drawn from a range of organisations. This period would also be a period of celebration but more importantly an opportunity to document the learning in order that it may transferred more widely. Proposition 3: A framework for civic engagement The discussion in Group 3 focused on identifying an overall vision for the space and talked about some of the steps needed to deliver the vision in the short and longer term. They suggested that the dream for the space was for it to become a fully functioning hotel which showcased the city of Stirling, its people and their development. The group recognised the importance of involving a wide range of participants to deliver the project including businesses, clubs, societies, colleges, universities, the local authority and community council in order to ensure its authenticity as a community hub. The group began to think about activities that would take place in the first 6 months of the project. The emphasis was

A Community Agenda In broad terms, there was support for the propositions and encouragement to develop the principles of community led entrepreneurship as a vehicle to take the ideas forward. The result was less about physical design and more about community building, the trust needed to build a culture of collaboration to share space and resource to make things happen. The participants created a brief for change which focused on community building and a culture of openness, trust and support for making activities happen with opportunities in the city. An emergent theme was around being comfortable with ambiguity and the creation of a community who could support each other at the right point in time with the right amount of help when undertaking initiatives.

51


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

Stirling City Lab Stirling City Lab operated as an open door business incubator and supported local people in Stirling to think through their ventures “Our aim is to not only see new enterprise but to create sustainable businesses with a diversity of uses, that grow in response to the changing role of town centres. Too many shops are opening then closing. This problem has been severely highlighted by the recent recession.” ANDY KENNEDY, City Centre Initiative Manager, 2013 From January to April 2013, on the back of the successful Made In Stirling Pop-up shop and feedback on supporting local people to fast track business, Stirling Council took up a short-term lease of the old Shop Zone unit on King Street and set up ‘City Lab’ as part of the Start Up Street Stirling strategy and agreed to the proposal received from ICA to manage the CityLab project. The Stirling Citylab was financed by Stirling Council. Key delivery partners were STEP, Stirling University Innovation Park, Stirling Voluntary Enterprise, Stirling University and ongoing support from Cultural Enterprise Office and Creative Stirling. As documented in the Stirling Creative Industries Study of 2012 by Joelle Russell, it had documented that enterprises, within the creative sector due to their micro nature meant they did not perceie that they would meet the growth targets set for the Business Gateway Pipeline Programme. Stirling City Lab is a solution to this, operating as a business incubator focused on boosting jobs and enterprise in Stirling City Centre. The goal was to promote increased creative activity and enhance the local economy.

52

The lab team consisted of a core five from ICA (from L to R): Desmond Bernie and Sarah Frood as project managers, Hannah Brackston as project assitant, Daniele Sambo as project assisstant and graphic designer and Juliet Hounman as Social Media and communications. The City Lab opened on January 21st and took on 13 locals who are running their own enterprises, whilst supporting over 40 individuals during the course of the project. Not just a programme supporting a core group of local people, the City Lab had an open door policy and offered free wifi. As a collective programme, not only did individuals gain mentoring and workshops on developing their business ideas but they shared and developed together, with Citylab offering the connections and creating a social network that is crucial to ventures when starting up.


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

Stirling City Lab | January 2013

53


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

During the Stirling Citylab initiative workshops were held which participants could register for. These included workshops by Steven Turner, a senior manager and sales professional on winning customers and their retail preferences. Andy Young, a Senior Designer at service design agency Snook held a workshop on designing services and sharing tools and methods for particpants to re-assess and deliver their businesses. Peter Hounam, a Managing Director of successful, award winning chocolate busines,s The Highland Chocolatier, shared his story and insights on how important location is for business. Stirling University’s business club in partnership with the Stirling Citylab held a Business Club Brainstorm session and a roundtable was held on ‘Lens based media.’ Iain Scott of Cognitive Business Therapy and Scotpreneur held a workshop employing a variety of unusual coaching techniques in order to help the participants unlock their ‘enterprise potential’. Students from Forth Valley College hosted a Fair Trade stall located at the CityLab. Alasdair Tollemache from the Stirling Voluntary Enterprise (SVE) who support third sector organisations held an open workshop to discuss community rooted project ideas.

54

Citylab takes a creative and innovative approach to supporting local enterprise in the city centre. As a creative approach, it has connections with the research into Stirling’s Creative Industries by Joelle Russell, extending our understanding of the notion of ‘Creative Industry’. Comparisons can be made between the factors driving growth of Creative Industries and compare this to the development of city centre enterprise that has the ability to pivot and remain in the market to achieve sustainability. Factors driving growth of creative industries were identified as: // Increased consumer demand for enriching ‘experiences’. // Rollout of new technologies and the shift from manufacturing towards services and innovation. // Increased demand for imaginative solutions to drive regeneration, branding of cities, increase competitiveness, etc. // Acceleration of product and service innovation. // Intercultural dialogue and community building. // Finding imaginative ways to build on tradition and cultural and historic assets to develop place competitiveness. // Growing use of digital media. Particularly key is the acceleration of product and service innovation and a call for imagination. This solidifies the Stirling City Lab as the ideal safe space for the local public and city stakeholders to test new ideas leading to innovation and new experiences within the city centre that can support the Council’s strategic objectives.


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

Stirling City Lab in action | January to April 2013

55


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

Nick Morris of Bicycle Cafe The Broken Spokes ran a test shop before the City Lab closed. Ideally, the City Lab is an ideal route to holding a final showcase of business who come through the pipeline. In this instance, this was not possible except for a few participants but the intention of SUS is to achieve this kind of opening with future developments. Feedback on the City Lab “We liked the energising atmosphere and the interface with other likeminded entrepreneurs. We are absolutely gutted that the space won’t be here any more as we have found CityLab a massive help in the development of our enterprise.” NICK MORRIS, ELAINE HILL, Bicycle Cafe ‘The Broken Spokes’ “The market is a great opportunity to raise awareness during Fair Trade Fortnight. It also gives students at the college valuable experience of organising and manning stalls, as well as assisting and educating customers about the benefits of Fair Trade produce.” ELAINE CUTHILL, a lecturer at the college

56

“I think it’s a real shame that CityLab is closing. I have found it a useful alternative to working from home, and it has been great to have support off the team and to share ideas. Added to all the help I’ve received, the fact that its a warm space with tea making facilities where I can work undisrupted has been a big help. Thankfully I am now at a stage with my business to be able to look into finding an office space from which to base myself in the future, but I will be sad not to have the input that I had from the other participants at CityLab.” PARTICIPANT, City Lab “The workshop was incredibly useful in motivating me to be proactive with my business plan. I found that Iain Scott was very provocative in challenging our ideas and motives, I felt that this was exactly what I needed in getting my plans to move forward and make headway. He gave us invaluable advice, such as that it is important to make our mistakes early on in the process so that they cost the minimal amount. He also highlighted how essential it is to get into the mindset of your customers and to do your research until you understand exactly what your clients will want from you.” SAM WALLER, Stirling Drum Tuition


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

“Stirling’s city centre has wonderful potential, despite having recently seen the decline that is so typical of modern British high streets. It is also the perfect size for new enterprise and networking. There is a huge student community on its door-step, and thousands of tourists visit the historical sites. There is heaps of local creative talent, and we need to utilise this so as to make the centre an attractive destination for all these potential visitors.” SARAH FROOD, Founder, Ice Cream Architecture, 2013

57


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

Continuing Start Up Street Start Up Street Stirling set out to with no fixed agenda but to investigate the potential of pop-up shops and city centre community led activity Over two years, prototypes identifid in the initial Start Up Street Stirling research and reccomendations from the Urban Ideas Bakery have been implimented, tested and reflected upon. On 18th April, the Made In Stirling shop relaunched under the arm of Creative Stirling led by Joe Hall and Alasdair Gammack. The Made In Stirling shop still continues to date. There were successes as outlined in the ‘Story of Start Up Street Stirling’ and managed failures, a part of any prototype and experiment which have been collected and taken forward into a series of reccomendations and Service Design which can be implimented in any local community and continued in Stirling. At the essence of Start Up Street is community. The ultimate role of SUS must be as a catalyst to a pro-active community who are supported and given the opportunity to try out new ideas and projects. Providing space, wether this is a shop front, incubation unit, a street or even someone’s living room, SUS has the potential to rebalance the relationship between citizen and council as facilatative, supportive and forward thinking. As an initiative in Stirling, there is potential to invest in the reccomendations of continuing SUS. This is not just about economic investment, but also about sharing the brand for others to take forward, whether this local business support organisations, creative collectives, the council or the public themselves.

58

The following manual details guidance to running the SUS process but as articulated throughout this report, there is no fixed one way of delivering SUS and it must be viewed as a catalyst and supporting brand that learns and builds upon every action it takes. Key Reccomendations 1. Appoint a SUS team who carry the knowledge of the ongoing project and support communities to produce business plans as outlined in the manual 2. Release the manual and supporting materials to the public in Stirling 3. Utilise the Start Up Street Stirling website and blog and bring in house to Stirling’s community team 4. Hold a ‘closing’ reflections event which launches an open phase of taking the SUS brand and running with it 5. Build an ongoing, open narrative with landlords on gaining short term leases at peppercorn rate and advertise these opportunities to the public with the SUS Guidelines


Start Up Street Stirling 1.0

Made In Stirling re launch | April 2013

59


startupstreet.co.uk Start Up Street is a collaboration between: Icecream Architecture | icecreamarchitecture.com Stirling Council | stirling.gov.uk Architecture and Design Scotland | ads.org.uk We Are Snook | wearesnook.com

icecream

architecture

Start Up Street  

Building conditions to kickstart ventures for civic impact An introduction to Start Up Street and the story of Stirling

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you