On Wednesday 15th May, Mill Gate Shopping centre launched a new initiative called OPEN, with a drop-in session designed to break down the often daunting barriers to taking your first retail space.

The first ever OPEN drop in session took place in the shopping centre with experts on hand to answer questions on how to get into the retail market without any of the jargon or confusion that can often come with leasing retail space. Visitors were also given a real insight into everyday life at Mill Gate by having the chance to talk with established businesses that started in the centre. One such retailer was Carol Jolly of Perfect fit who came to the centre with a dream of opening a bra shop with a personal fitting service and has now been in the centre 10 years. Mill Gate Shopping Centre Manager Marie Gribben along with Lisa Smith of PinPointer were on hand to answer any questions that attendees had and to explain the opportunities available at the centre. Marie commented,

“The centre has been at the heart of the Bury community for almost three decades and it is so important that local businesses looking for an opportunity to reach more customers understand that Mill Gate is the perfect place to do just that.” “By launching OPEN we hope to create a space where people who might be worried about what can be a daunting letting process can come and ask the questions they have and get honest straight forward advice”

As well as the drop-in sessions, Mill Gate has also created some simple FAQs that give straight forward answers to the most common questions that come up when someone is looking to lease a new space. The section includes questions on business rates, leasing charges and what can be sold at the centre. PinPointer‘s Lisa Smith, said: “This is a really positive step in making retail spaces more accessible to all businesses. The Mill Gate is ahead of the curve by hosting the OPEN project providing a simple and supportive approach to the leasing process. The initiative really carries on the great entrepreneurial tradition of Bury, looking at using spaces in new ways. So, whether it’s for offices, dentists, estates agents, homeware or microbreweries or the more conventional retail offerings, the Mill Gate has the space for your business.

The OPEN unit will be open on the first Monday of each month, you can pop in or make an appointment to view potential units with the centre management and PinPointer team offering that personal insight and support through the leasing process