Award-winning Peterborough based community project Up The Garden Bath is celebrating a summer of success after its pop-up shop generated sales of nearly £50,000 for small local businesses in just 10 weeks.

Up The Garden Bath assembled 70 small retailers in two temporary pop up shops in Peterborough's Queensgate Shopping Centre as they urged shoppers to ditch the big high street brands and purchase products created by local businesses, crafters, makers and artists as part of a projec calle UNITY.

Co-founder Kez Hayes Palmer explained: "If every adult in the UK spent £5 a week in their local shops and businesses, instead of online, the supermarket or with multinationals, it would be worth £13.5 billion going back into our towns and cities.

"That means real jobs, better facilities and nicer places to live. Shop local and the money goes into the local economy not funding billionaires.

Ms Hayes says the project is called UNITY as he wanted to unite people with a shared collaborative project that brought people together and empowered them. 

She added "After two previous successful smaller trials in 2021 and 2022 we approached the management team of Queensgate earlier this year about the possibility of expanding our UNITY store and trying something a little larger.

"They have always been supportive of the aims of our UNITY project and are keen to support local businesses wherever possible by giving them the opportunity to reach a larger audience.

"Initially, we moved into the vacant former Paperchase unit on June 8. We quickly transformed the empty unit into a colourful, vibrant community hub that featured a wide and varied range of products from 40 small local vendors, charities, crafters, makers, artists and small businesses from within a 50 mile radius of Peterborough."

Kez continued: "We wanted to create more than just another shop. We always try to install a sense of fun, community spirit and family wherever we go.

"For us it's about more than just selling products, it's about making friends, bonding and meeting creative individuals and hearing their stories and feeling their passion.

"We wanted to offer a permanently accessible crafting table with a wide range of free activities and we arranged and organised free, daily, fun workshops which were accessible to all ages and abilities."

The group set an ambitious target of generating £20,000 in sales for local businesses during our short six-week stay and were "delighted" to end their time in the first shop with sales of £22,500.

Co-founder Dave Poulton added: "Queensgate were so impressed with the success of the project and the positive buzz it was creating that they asked us to extend and expand the project for a further six weeks into a larger, more prestigious and prominent location.

"Queensgate kindly offered us the use of the former Next unit situated in their main shopping square. This larger space allowed us to go bigger, bolder and better and enabled us to increase the number of vendors in store to more tan 60.

"We set an increased larger target of £25,000 to add to the initial £22,500 generated in our first store and we have a cumulative total of more than £48,000."

The shop is open until August 31 and shoppers are encouraged pop in, shop local and support local businesses.

More than 75 local businesses have been involved over the last 12 weeks.

and pop in to the UNITY pop-up shop in Queensgate Shopping Centre - Peterborough. If you want more information contact the team from Up The Garden Bath or visit You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. —--------