Save Our Pop-Up Play Shop! sign now

The Pop-Up Play Shop is an innovative project converting a long-empty shop into a free of charge, open access play area for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.

The world's first Pop-Up Play Shop opened in Cardiff's Queens Arcade in October 2011. Since then, we've had over a thousand visitors, amazing feedback, national press interest and local support. Through links with other Cardiff organizations as well as visitor-led outreach, we have provided opportunities for recreation and respite for at-risk families, children with disabilities, and people at risk of social exclusion. We've also provided a place for students to do research and for local residents to participate in training and volunteering.

The Shop is entirely free of charge, and sells nothing.

Having received a start-up grant of £4988 from the Cardiff Council Cymorth Small Play Grants, the project now faces bankruptcy because - in spite of being a non-profit (seeking charitable status) and financially overseen by the charity Re-Create - the same Council is demanding over £2,700 for business rates on a property which had stood vacant for 6 years.

Every penny of our grant has been allocated - to spend it otherwise is to break our contract with the Council and redirect funds that ought to be delivering on the city's Play Strategy. We are a new and very small non-profit, with our only other revenue coming from visitor donations. We are staffed by volunteers, and this single bill makes the difference between us closing now, and us staying open indefinitely.

We want to expand our offer, including parenting support and free arts workshops. We want to open more sites in local neighborhoods, and help communities remember that they can help their children create amazing opportunities for play with nothing more than cardboard boxes and scrap materials.

We need your help! Email R. Graham at brates@cardiff.gov.uk and call the Business Rates department at 029 2087 1326 to let them know that you believe the Pop-Up Play Shop should be given the full possible 100% rates relief.

We, the undersigned, support the Pop-Up Play Shop as an innovative approach to revitalizing our city centres, and helping children and adults play. Bringing together communities of people through curiosity and joy, this non-profit project is exactly the kind of initiative that Cardiff City Council should be proud to be supporting. It was started here, and given start-up funding by the Council. To destroy it now is morally wrong, and politically, socially and economically short-sighted.

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Pop-Up Play Shop

Tags

children, communities, council tax, disabilities, empty shops, families, play, play provision, young people

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