We filled an empty shop in Stirling and re-vitalised the high street.


Areas of Impact

Council 25%
Community 50%
Public Stakeholders15%

The Brief

Our high streets make a unique contribution to local neighbourhoods and economies and right now they are in crisis with nearly a third of UK high streets degenerating or failing. The challenge is to re-think our high streets as public spaces where people want to be – not simply for commerce – but somewhere to work, play and learn.

A+DS and Stirling City Council commissioned Snook to help make this happen in Stirling. The aim of this project is to explore how people with ideas, talents and capabilities in the city can be matched with the available spaces in the city, where they can find the support of an interested community.

The Results

  • 100+ Citizens of Stirling consulted
  • 1 Empty shop filled and re-opened as ‘Made In Stirling’
  • 15+ retailers in the first open shop selling products
  • 3 Units secured for future development

The Benefits

The output of this work is an initiative called “Start Up Street Stirling”. Snook have delivered a blueprint that encompasses not only the opening of the shop but how SUS can support and train members of the public to test out their business ideas inside high street shop units for a short period of time.

  • Start Up Street has the business model and growth plan to be scaled and implemented across other councils in the UK.
  • The Start Up Street model has been successful in filling one empty shop and has now secured three more empty shop units.
  • The equal and creative way the output was designed encouraged collaborative working and has led to key stakeholders from across different sectors working together towards a common vision.

What They Said

casestudy-Stirling-client“We have been working with Snook over the last year on a very ambitious project called `Start up Street`. The work they have done in facilitating the learning that is being undertaken has been very valuable in bringing a service design structure to the process. This is no easy task, given the complexity of the issues and opportunities involved. The iterative process they have managed, on behalf of ourselves and Architecture and Design Scotland have proved invaluable.”
Andy Kennedy, Stirling City Centre Initiative Manager – Stirling Council

Now What?

This initiative is continually evolving and Snook plan to develop this service to support councils across the UK to open up shop units and inspire local communities develop micro enterprises in empty shops. The next phase of development will move beyond creative enterprises and focus on social challenges that align with government priorities such as reducing city centre crime.