Eight former JJB Sports stores offered as temporary charity accommodation

Empty shops are being offered by the charity 3Space, which provides temporary access to unused commercial property

JJB Sports stores
JJB Sports stores

Voluntary organisations are being given the chance to use eight former JJB Sports stores free of charge as short-term shops or offices.

3Space, a charity that provides temporary access to empty commercial premises, has taken over stores in Ashton-under-Lyne, Harlow, Manchester, Reading, Swansea, Walsall, Warrington and Watford.

It pays JJB Sport's business rates, which are reduced during periods of charity occupation, and manages the legal and administrative processes so charities can focus on providing services. When the retailer finds new tenants, the charities must leave.

Previous properties provided by 3Space have been used as pop-up shops and drop-in centres.

Andrew Cribb, co-founder of 3Space, said: "Temporary use is perfectly suited to charities and community groups, allowing organisations to expand their operations, increase their profiles and reach new audiences, all with minimal financial commitments."

The chocolate company Thorntons announced last week that it is to close up to 180 stores. The carpet retailer Carpetright also said it expects closures.

Cribb added that the continuing bad news from the high street was likely to create more opportunities for charities to take temporary access of closed sites.

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