Pop-up businesses get chance at Birmingham shopping centre

A pop-up shop in the bullring Photo: ITV News Central

Almost 100 start up business are being given the chance to take a shop at one of Europe's largest shopping centres, paying just a fraction of the rent.

Pop-up shops are shops which are usually open for just a few weeks - using empty retail units. But this one is in one of the most expensive locations in the country.

The shop in Birmingham Credit: ITV News Central

A shop like this in the bullring in Birmingham would cost the thick end of £300,000 a year to rent - about £5,000 a week.

Way out of reach for many young entrepreneurs.

But for the next couple of months almost a hundred start up businesses will get the chance to show thousands of shoppers their ideas.

I am the only producer of Bombay Mix chocolate bars. So each bar has got about 20% Bombay Mix inside.

– Asif Walli, Chocolate entrepeneur

This is a pop-up shop. It wasn't being rented for a couple of months, so rather than leave it empty, the Bullring has rented it to Pop Up Britain. A scheme to help start ups get on the high street in shops that are vacant.

Inside the pop-up Credit: ITV News Central

Becky Jones - Pop Up Britain

Tim Walley from the Bullring, talking to ITV News Central correspondent Mark Gough.

There will be 10 new businesses every week in the shop, each paying £400 a week rent - a fraction of the £5000.

Jess Jeetly, from Walsall, was struggling to find clothes to fit her petite frame, so she decided to start her own brand. Credit: ITV News Central

I was literally working from home, so on the kitchen table with my laptop and just searching suppliers online. I found them in China and my three-year-old was running around me in the house and trying to find some suppliers, I eventually found some in China and I thought I needed to go and see them in person.

I told my husband we need to get a plane and we went to China and visited suppliers within two days and that is how we started.

– Jess Jeetly

Another kitchen table start up is a rugby clothes brand started by Jon Allen.

Well, I am from Birmingham and the opportunity to have a store in the centre of the Bullring is just fantastic. I never thought I'd get a store in the centre of Birmingham - you know growing up as a child, so it is just brilliant to have friends and family come and see what I have been working so hard on for the last few years.

– Jon Allen, Front Up

Jess quit her job as an optician, fulfilling a dream of every entrepreneur - to give up the day job.

Many different items are on sale Credit: ITV News Central

And the pop-up idea works.

When the Bombay Mix chocolate was on sale in a pop-up shop posh arcade in London - one of the customers who popped by was the boss of department store.

It was the CEO of Booths in Manchester who came past and liked it and hopefully, fingers crossed, it is not in there yet but it is just that opportunity which unfortunately you don't normally get. You never know who walks through the door.

– Asif Walli, Chocolate entrepeneur