16 March 2018: 3:06 pm
Business kiosks attract entrepreneurs
Two businesses have moved into kiosks installed in Market Lane in Wickford by Basildon Council, to encourage small and new business owners.
Florist and gift shop All About Alice and cake maker Gem’s Tasty Cakes opened on 3 February.
Gemma Mcalden, owner of Gem's Tasty Cakes, commended the kiosk initiative. "I had been running my cake business from my home in Basildon for about a year when the advert for the kiosks popped up on Twitter," she recalls.
"Here, the rent is really affordable and there are no business rates to worry about so it is perfect for businesses that are starting out.
"It has been a whole lifestyle change for me but it is definitely worth it."
As part of the regeneration of Wickford, the market was moved into Market Lane and the high street, with improvements carried out to the street scene, shopfronts and Wickford Swim and Fitness Centre, with a £2 million health facility unveiled in 2017.
Alan Ball, chairman of Basildon Council’s regeneration and environment committee, said: "We are committed to creating vibrant town centres where businesses want to be based. It is important that we do all we can to help the economy thrive and businesses to grow.
"Our Wickford Market kiosks offer traders the chance to start or build on their new business at a much reduced cost compared to opening a traditional shop unit."