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Bad weather blamed for Guildford's Pop Up Village closure

2 minute read
Bad weather blamed for Guildford's Pop Up Village closure

Published by the Eagle Radio News Team at 2:53pm 18th January 2017.

The cold weather and too few shoppers...

That is what Guildford Borough Council is blaming for the temporary closure of the town's Pop Up Village.

On Tuesday it confirmed the new shopping hub would close at the end of the month and re-open later in the year.

It only opened on December 1st. So what went wrong?

Santa

We put that question to the council's Director of Resources, Steve White: "There's nothing gone wrong with the Pop Up Village.

"It's because we've not been able to get the footfall that's required because of the weather - as well as the fact that this has been a difficult time for the whole retail industry."

Shipping units become shopping units - timelapse of the transformation:

Despite that, Steve insists it has not been a waste of money: "Generally speaking our infrastructure costs have all been met.

"So really, the forfeiture at the moment is on the rents.

"The important thing is to get the footfall going - and for the sake of two or three months forfeiture of rent is probably better in the long term." 

As a goodwill gesture, the council's waived January's rent for tenants at the village.

Surrey Homewares, which is trading on the site, has published a statement about the closure on its website.

It ends by saying it intends to open a store in Walton in February.

The statement says: "The council have now informed us they are closing Guildford Pop Up Village on 31st January.

"During that time they intend to undertake a number of improvements to the site with a view to reopening in April.

"We will be increasing the number of items on our website in that time and will return to our unit as soon as possible."

The Mayor of Guildford officially opens the village:

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