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Choose the High Street logoWhy Choose the High Street?

The high street is still the heart of the local community, a place where people meet and new businesses start. If you have always wanted to start your own business or have a new idea for a community project that you want to try, why not ‘Choose the High Street’ and set up a pop-up unit?


Pop-Up Units – What are they?

A pop-up unit is where a short-term lease (usually for a period less than six months) is agreed between a landlord and a business or community project, enabling them to use a vacant property for a short period of time. Although the concept of a pop-up unit is mostly associated with shops, pop-up units on the high street can also be utilised for a number of activities including art galleries and community projects.


Pop-Up Units – How are they beneficial to a new business or community project?

Pop-up units are an excellent opportunity to try out a new business and see if the concept works before making a long-term commitment. They also offer community projects and charities a great way to reach a much wider audience.


Pop-Up Units – How are they beneficial to a landlord?

  • They can generate a small rental income;
  • Having a tenant will improve the appearance of the property;
  • A pop-up raises the awareness of the property to potential tenants;
  • Pop-up units improve the vibrancy of the high street & attract new customers;
  • Tenants provide additional security for a property;
  • An occupied property will deter vandalism;
  • Having a pop-up potentially lowers a property’s insurance premiums.


Pop-Up Units – Who pays Business Rates?

For the duration that a pop-up idea occupies the property, the responsibility for payment of business rates passes from the landlord to the tenant.

Useful points to note:

  • Occupied properties with a rateable value of
    • £6,000 or less qualify for 100% Small Business Rate Relief
    • between £6,001 and £12,000 qualify for a reduced amount of relief (e.g. 50% relief for a £9,000 rateable value);
  • When a pop-up unit is occupied by a registered charity they will be eligible for 80% business rate relief;
  • If a business occupies a retail property before 1 April 2015, which has previously been unoccupied for at least 12 months & the rateable value is no more than £45,000, the new business can claim 50% rate relief for the first 12 months of occupation;
  • When a landlord is paying empty property rates on a non-industrial premises, having a tenant occupy a property for at least 6 weeks allows the landlord to subsequently claim a 3-month rate exemption from the date that the property becomes vacant again (the tenant may claim some of this relief if they leave the premises before their lease ends).


Pop-Up Units – What about Planning Consent?

Before embarking on a pop-up unit project, contact the Council’s planning department for some helpful advice and guidance on how planning consent relates to pop-up units. Telephone 01495 235268 or email


Temporary Lease Agreement

A temporary lease between the landlord and pop-up business should include:

  • Length of tenancy;
  • Responsibility for utility payments (gas, water & electricity);
  • Responsibility for security of the property;
  • Responsibility for condition of the premises and any fittings, including a photographic schedule of condition;
  • Responsibility for any damage to the property.


Suggestions to help get started with a pop-up unit project

Step 1

Look through Caerphilly County Borough Council’s online Retail Property Directory, which contains a full list of all vacant shop units in CaerphillyBlackwood, Bargoed, Risca and Ystrad Mynach town centres. The online Retail Property Directory shows a photograph of each vacant property and provides the contact details for the marketing agents.

Step 2

Produce a summary of your business case (one sheet of A4). Be clear and concise, emphasising the benefits to the landlord of your business or project turning their empty property into a pop-up unit.

Step 3

Approach the agent who is marketing the property and ask them to help you present your business case to the landlord.

Step 4

Once the landlord has approved your business case, you will need to agree a short-term lease.




More information

If you would like to discuss starting a pop-up unit in any of Caerphilly County Borough’s principal town centres contact Town Centre Management on 01443 866213 or 01443 866393 or email

Please note that Caerphilly County Borough Council cannot give you legal advice and, if you are in any doubt, you should obtain your own independent advice.


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