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Increasing use of shipping containers for shops and offices in Britain

BRITAIN has seen the opening of a dozen food, retail and office complexes created out of disused shipping containers over the past three years, and the signs suggest that their popularity is set to rise, providing an alternative to more expensive bricks and mortar premises

Increasing use of shipping containers for shops and offices in Britain

BRITAIN has seen the opening of a dozen food, retail and office complexes created out of disused shipping containers over the past three years, and the signs suggest that their popularity is set to rise, providing an alternative to more expensive bricks and mortar premises

15 February 2019 - 19:00

BRITAIN has seen the opening of a dozen food, retail and office complexes created out of disused shipping containers over the past three years, and the signs suggest that their popularity is set to rise, providing an alternative to more expensive bricks and mortar premises.

Research compiled by Radio 4's You and Yours programme, demonstrate such 'container communities' provide a stepping stone for small businesses before they relocate to a larger base, reported BBC News.



Rents for space inside converted containers are relatively cheap and sites have opened in cities including Manchester, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh and York with others planned for Liverpool and Norwich.



Newcastle upon Tyne's shipping container complex, called Stack Newcastle, opened in 2018. It is built using 50 shipping containers and the operators said it received 50,000 visitors a week on average within the first six months of opening. It was installed in the city centre on a derelict site that used to be home to a cinema.



Now the land is occupied by dozens of small, independent businesses that are trading from converted shipping containers.



'We've really enjoyed the opportunity to be able to trade in the middle of the city,' said Andy Barton, who sells freshly made pizza from a unit in the heart of the complex.



He said it would normally be 'too expensive' for his start-up business to be based at such a prime location. However, the converted container complex is temporary and only has permission from Newcastle City Council to remain intact for three years. Come 2021, the site will be cleared for redevelopment.



Other container communities offering low rent and more flexible leases have helped small businesses to branch out into the traditional bricks and mortar establishments faster than would have been previously possible.



James Leay, from Make Shift, a company behind the Pop Brixton container community in London, said some 25 of its tenants had moved to alternative locations since it opened on a former car park in 2015.


WORLD SHIPPING

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