A competition challenging entrepreneurs to set up ‘pop-up shops’ has been hailed a success - despite claims the businesses were hard to find.
Empty shop units in the town centre were brought to life earlier this month as Kirkintilloch hosted a ‘pop-up’ TestTown Scotland Festival on Friday, July 4, and Saturday, July 5, with businesses battling it out to be crowned the TestTown winner.
The ideas competition, delivered by the Carnegie UK Trust, invited people aged 16-30 to dream up enterprising uses for shops, offices, stalls and other vacant spaces, while simultaneously revitalising the UK’s town centres.
The competing teams took over £3,000 in sales and orders across the two days of trading and broke the TestTown record for a single day’s trading on the Saturday.
It was Tigerprint Tees - a new entertainment business for kids - that was crowned winner and collected the £1,000 prize money, as well as a place in th final to be held in Cambridge this autumn.
Council leader Rhondda Geekie, who went along to support the young entrepreneurs, said: “The event was a real success and it was great to meet the finalists and see their innovative businesses in operation.
“It was an honour for Kirkintilloch to be chosen as Scotland’s main TestTown and it was encouraging to see the empty units given a new lease of life after they were transformed into pop-up shops.”
But one Herald reader was less than impressed with the event.
The Kirkintilloch resident said: “Kirkintilloch being a ‘Test Town’ sounded interesting so I went along to support the pop-up shops, but I only found one - the noodle and broth shop.
“Next day I got my husband to drive along the main street rather than the bypass and we looked again but saw none.
“Several people have said they could not find the Test Town shops. East Dunbartonshire council said it would bring people to the town but it seemed a non-event.
“I feel sorry for the young people who put work into it, but we can’t support it if we cannot find it.”