Small Business Rates Relief Proposal

This petition made change with 659 supporters!

Commercial property is sitting vacant across the UK.

We Are Pop Up and our fellow communities envisage a future where new and emerging businesses can test out retail concepts, and bring new stores to the High Street.

In order for this to happen, landlords and property managers must also be incentivised. If tenants and landlord can together qualify for 3 months business rates relief, this makes it much more likely to bring pop-up shops to high streets.

Innovative and independent projects have trouble covering costs associated with renting commercial properties. Traditional landlords have a myriad of concerns about the viability of pop-up activity. 

Roger Wade (CEO of BOXPARK) proposes that the UK government provide business rates relief to small independent retailers for up to 3 months out of the year. 

If the government is prepared to provide business rates relief for qualified small businesses, it will encourage both the businesses and landlords to create pop-up shops and reverse the decline of High Streets and city centres.


If policy changes:

a: ) Landlords can readily accommodate the surging demand by independent brands for pop-up space (currently there are over 1,000 pop-up projects in the UK by certified independent businesses that cannot find space), and

b: ) We can mitigate the most common barrier to pop-ups from landlords, commercial agents, and space managers, ex. "it's too financially risky."


This proposal is being led by Roger Wade and is supported by:


The Backscratchers (

Bill Grimsey

Camden Collective/Camden Town Unlimited (

Capital Enterprise (

Changify (

Edible Experiences (

Grub Club (

Imagination In Space (

Kitchenette (

London Pop-ups (


Offbeat (

The People Who Share (

Popupspace (

The Rushmore Group (

Shoreditch Works (

Smarta (

Street Feast (

Tweat Up (


We Are Pop Up ( 

PopUp Britain (

Appear Here ( 


Help us make a better future for independent businesses and UK highstreets. Sign today!

In order for it to work, it is critical that our signatures and written letters be sent to Adrian Bailey at the House of Commons. 

It must refer to Roger Wade's Written Recommendations below and be titled: 

“The Roger Wade Pop Up Business Rates Relief Proposal.”


The deadline is Friday 25th October.

The direct mailing address is:

Adrian Bailey MP,

Chair of Business Innovation and Skills Select Committee, 

Business, Innovation and Skills Committee

7 Millbank

House of Commons



Telephone: 020 7219 5777/5779

Fax: 020 7219 2731




Written evidence from Roger Wade, CEO, Boxpark: 

Small Business rates relief: 3-month business rates relief for qualifying small independent retailers.

The Government should be encouraging pop up units across Britain. This is potentially a sustainable solution to revitalising our empty high streets. Pop ups are the future breeding ground for next generation of Independent Retailers.

The Government should offer business rates relief for qualifying small business pop up tenants.

We recommend a qualifying small business tenant can claim up to 3 months rates relief once per calendar year.

The current business rates relief scheme allows landlords to qualify for up to 3 months rates relief if they let empty units BUT the small business tenants are still responsible for paying rates if the rateable value is above £6000.

This system is totally one sided because it does not encourage small businesses to rent empty shops.

The suggested  scheme encourages both the landlord and tenant to fill empty units. 

The long-term objective is to encourage small independent businesses to trial pop up stores.

After a 3-month period the tenant will be then liable for commercial rental terms and business rates.

The benefits are the following; the small business tenant can test out retail concepts at relatively low set up costs. The landlord can fill empty units and qualify for up to 3 months business rates relief and hopefully develop a long-term tenant. The government can fill empty stores and hopefully after 3 months generate long-term business rates on empty stores.

Boxpark are prepared to run a pilot scheme on a not for profit basis, and work with Hackney Council, GLA or Government to develop these initiatives further.






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