CiB Shop #2 – Public Meeting

Headline: Public meeting about the CiBshop – Monday 26th July, 7pm, The Victoria. Register here.


Hello, this is Pete with one of my occasional retail-related posts on the CiB blog.

It’s been 6 weeks since the Created in Birmingham shop closed. Since then I’ve had some time off to recover and have started thinking about beginning the process of commencing planning for the second shop, tentatively scheduled for late September.

From this you may infer a hint of uncertainly, a reticence almost, so I’ll cut to the chase.

  • I think there’s a good case for there to be another CiB Shop.
  • I don’t feel capable of doing a large swathe of the things necessary to get to that stage.
  • And, if I’m honest, I’m not sure I want to own and run a shop in the long term.

Developing this further:

  • The CiB Shop, at it’s zenith, was powered by the community. Without diminishing the time, effort and investment we put into the shop we couldn’t have done it without the incredible support of our suppliers, customers and supporters across the city. The challenge for me was shepherding this torrent.
  • Since closing there’s been a huge desire for the shop to happen again. Barely a day goes by without someone asking when it’s going to to open.

I had a meeting last week with the Economic Development bod at the Council. It was a useful, if sobering, meeting but one thing stuck in my head and wouldn’t go away.

  • If the community wants this to happen they should invest in it.

That doesn’t necessarily mean a financial investment. But it does mean a constructive investment in making the shop happen and ensuring it’s sustainability.

Maybe I’m suggesting a co-op or collective model, coupled with the benevolent dictatorship necessary to get a bunch of arty types functioning together. But whatever the method I think we need to go in mob handed.

I’ve booked the upstairs of The Victoria on Monday 26th July. The meeting will start at 7.00pm to allow folk to travel in. I’ll start with a short presentation covering what we’ve got and what the current options are and then chair a big discussion. With any luck there’ll be people in the room who are good at the things I’m rubbish at and who want to do the things I don’t. And then we can have a shop.

Please register on the Eventbrite page so I have an idea of numbers and so I can stay in touch after the event.

Hopefully we’ll see you there but if you can’t make it we’ll be recording what’s said for popping it on the blog for time/space-shifted debate.


  1. I definitely think the co-operative / community shop model is the best one, not least because it’s possible there may be some funding opportunities still left for such a thing!

    But also I think it would be good to have a closer relationship between people wanting to sell things in the shop, and people who are willing to help out with the running of the shop – not to the extent of thinking only people who are willing to help should be allowed to have stuff (I think ultimately the shop should always be open to people who have good saleable merchandise to be able to sell in it), but certainly, if say, there’s a conflict of too many items of any particular type, then it seems reasonable that, say, the person willing to help staff the shop for half a day a month would appear to be more committed to the ideals of the community, so could get precedence. That’s just one possibility of how it could work as a community shop – there may be others.

  2. kate

    – wonder if this could benefit in any way from Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ vision? Don’t really know anything aout it, but if there’s any funding available I’d say CiB and family would be a likely contender?

  3. Dennis McNulty

    Great to see that plans for the shop are back in motion. Tried to register on Eventbrite using phone but wouldn’t let me. I’ll do it properly tomorrow, but just in case put me down for The Victoria on Monday. Can’t believe it’s only been 6 weeks: it feels a LOT longer. Look forward to seeing everyone.

  4. Hi, I work for the Development Trusts Association in the West Midlands- we’ve been involved in supporting the “meanwhile use” of empty premises across the UK over the past 12 months and have developed a range of useful resources which may help you take this forward including draft leases, an empty shops handbook and some other good practice. Go to I’m based in Birmingham but can’t attend next Monday as I’m away, but feel free to get in touch if there’s anything else you’d like to know Good luck, hope it goes well.

  5. Nicola

    I think the co-op/community idea is excellent and I’d be really keen to become involved. I’m not sure that I can make it to the meeting on Monday but will keep up with developments. I make jewellery and sell it on folksy so I’d be keen to sell in the shop. But I’m equally keen to volunteer my help in any capacity.

  6. My daughter sold her tote bags in your shop and i know she is waiting for the new shop to open. As a college student doing art and design I am sure she will be up to help you in any art, designing kind of way. Or just a body doing labouring etc.. We are also keen to sell our cards in your shop and would help in anyway possible.
    We cannot attend the meeting tonight as we are away. But put us down for two helpers.

  7. Sorry I couldn’t make it tonight but I would be interested in helping. I will keep an eye out for the results of tonight’s meeting and any other information I can get on what is happening and how people can help.

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