Cavendish House is reopening as a 'mini Camden' for local pop-up traders

Described as a 'mini Camden for independents', a private investor has leased Cavendish House in Cheltenham for one year to give local, independent businesses the chance to sell their wares — and there's not long to go before it opens its doors.

By Emma Luther  |  Published
Sian Mortiss, of Bramble and Bloom Flowers, is just one of the businesses opening a pop-up shop in Cavendish House in Cheltenham.

A new chapter is about to unfold for Cavendish House in Cheltenham.

After House of Fraser left last month, the 236,944 sq ft building at the heart of the town's shopping district, has been at the centre of considerable debate on what its future should be.

While the long-term plans will take time to be confirmed, the site is not being wasted.

From Tuesday 28 May 2024, it will become a hub for independent firms to set up stalls for one year, thanks to a private investor.

Sian Mortiss, of Bramble and Bloom Flowers, is opening a pop-up shop and she can't wait to set up shop.

She said: 'It's going to be an amazing little independent hub. 

'There will be womenswear and menswear, vintage and retro clothing, furniture and smaller businesses spread out between floors.'

Her florist pop-up will sit on the original beauty floor where the old Clarins counter was situated.

This floor is being dedicated to small businesses and businesses who need a little space. 

Sian added: 'I keep describing it as a mini Camden for independents. I hope it draws more people back to that area, as it has been a tad quiet since Cav closed. 

'Our section will be open from Tuesday to Saturday from 9am to 3pm most days.'

Her firm, Bramble and Bloom, was established in August 2023 and since then Sian has had her bouquets and blooms on sale at Cheltenham Farmers' Market on The Promenade and Neal's Yard pop-ups in Montpellier, as well as other Gloucestershire markets and her small studio in Tewkesbury.

Floral items range from small bunches to decorating big events, including recently supplying flowers for the new mayor's ceremony.

Her flowers come from a variety of suppliers including the Netherlands, the Cotswold Flower Farmer and other smaller growers in the UK as well as a small selection she grows herself.

As a one-woman business, she takes a 'wilder' approach to floristry, breaking away from the traditional standards, colours and combinations.  

She said: 'I'm super excited for the opening. I have been looking at spaces in Cheltenham for a while, but nothing has really come up or been available that I felt would be good for business, not to mention the high rent prices for retail in Cheltenham. 

'For me, it's a great way of having a permanent space, which is what I have dreamed of for a while now.'

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