Free Space+ initiative offers chance of rent-free unit at Culver Square shopping centre in Colchester

The Culver Square shopping centre in Colchester.
Picture: Archant

The Culver Square shopping centre in Colchester. Picture: Archant - Credit: andrew partridge

The Culver Square shopping centre in Colchester is to become part of a national “business incubator” project offering £300,000-worth of support of start-up ventures.

Culver Square, owned by M&G Real Estate, is part of Free Space+ – an initiative involving retail property organisation Revo in partnerhship with nine major UK retail landlords and the British Independent Retailers’ Association (bira).

Culver Square is among around 100 shopping centres offering local start-ups the opportunity to apply for free retail space. Applicants will be asked to demonstrate how trading from the participating centre of their choice would accelerate their growth.

The closing date to enter Free Space+ is December 1, 2017, with nine winners to be announced in January 2018. The successful businesses will then be able to occupy space in their chosen centre for three months.

Successful applicants will also receive a support package from bira, including insurance, good financial rates and legal advice along with a mentor from the retail property world.

Rupert Milne, asset manager at M&G Real Estate, said: “As the main retail destination in the heart of Colchester, Culver Square is the ideal location for a retail start-up to launch its product alongside national and international names.

“Free Space+ is a way for us to go the extra mile to help small community businesses to thrive and possibly become part of our Culver Square line up.”

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To find out more about Free Space+ and to enter, visit