The story behind The Glass Umbrella Pop Up Shop

Located in an attractive Grade 2 listed building at 8 Market Place, The Glass Umbrella has been developed by the team behind the successful Screen Stockport Film Festival and The Teenage Market initiative, spearheaded by teenage brothers Joe and Tom Barratt.

Joe filmed and presented the video for Stockport’s successful Portas Pilot and the brothers contributed ideas to the winning Bid which included the development of the Seven Miles Out Digital & Visual Arts Centre in the Market.

“One of the main focuses of the Bid was a social hub where the creative community of Stockport, in particular young people, could come together and collaborate on ideas to regenerate the town centre,” explains Joe, a student in Drama and Screen Studies at Manchester University.

“Our proposal for a Digital Arts Centre was highlighted by Mary Portas as one of the reasons Stockport was chosen to be one of the original twelve Pilots. We hope our Pop Up shop in the Market will be the first step along the way to seeing the Arts centre come to fruition next year.”

“There are two reasons we chose the name The Glass Umbrella,” continues Joe. “Firstly because it was the nickname for the amazing Victorian Market Hall when it was originally built but also the name signifies something that is open and transparent which is something we believe is really important for any organisation or group.”

The Glass Umbrella shop will provide a small retail space where Teenage Market stallholders can try out their creative business ideas and engage with the public.

Joe’s brother Tom came up with the original idea for The Teenage Market which since it was first established in early 2012 has gained national recognition with personal praise from Mary Portas and national press and television coverage.

“I first came to the indoor market to visit the Vintage Village which created a unique atmosphere in the stunning environment of the market hall,” says Tom, who studies Art Foundation at MMU.

“I felt that this area should be populated by young creative people but there needed to be a reason for them to come and when we held our first Teenage Market in April we had over 70 stalls and thousands of visitors so we knew it was possible to attract them!”

“If these young entrepreneurs and their creative businesses could eventually occupy the empty shops, I think the area really has the potential to have the same feel as Manchester’s Northern Quarter.”

The Glass Umbrella Pop Up shop has been made possible because of the support of a sympathetic landlord, the Housing Association Guinness Northern Counties who own many of the residential and commercial properties in the Market Place.

Joe explains that collaborating with local landlords to occupy empty shops is one of the principles set out by Mary Portas in her High Street Review. “As the High Street is changing we all need to look at new ways of bringing people into the town centre beyond a traditional retail offer,” he says.

“We were delighted that Simone Sewell from Guinness Northern Counties really understood our vision and supported our ideas to establish The Glass Umbrella initiative which she sees could really benefit the community.”

“We would urge other landlords in Stockport to be as open to new ideas and help create opportunities for other young people.”

The Glass Umbrella Pop Up shop will be open on Saturdays and Sundays throughout December with many creative and handmade products for sale from Teenage Market stallholders.