An exciting new retail concept, aimed at attracting fledgling retailers who want to try their first bricks and mortar space, is to open in Penicuik later this month.

UpMarket Penicuik is to open in Penicuik Shopping Centre on Saturday, April 30, and will comprise 10 pods. Seven retail pods and one café have already been taken by local traders.

This is the third Microshops to be opened by Evolve Estates, which is part of the LCP Group, a national commercial property and investment company. Across the group, this is the sixth Microshops to launch in the UK.

UpMarket, a joint venture between LCP and Evolve Estates, provides high-quality retail environments with pods offering affordable, all-inclusive, flexible monthly contracts.

Natalie Sebastian, head of special projects at Evolve Estates, said UpMarket Penicuik is an exciting business opportunity for independent traders, designers, artists and start ups.

"Our experience of opening Microshops in different locations has been really positive," she said. "It has given people the confidence to try their hand at opening a shop or moving from solely online trading, without all the overheads you would have with a traditional shop unit.

"We have dozens of thriving, local and independent businesses operating in our Microshops and are looking forward to seeing traders in Penicuik enjoying similar success on their own doorsteps."

Lisa McAlinden, LCP property manager, added: "Each Microshops concept we have launched has been a great success, enabling new retailers to move to a physical store for the first time and we are confident the community will be keen to support these local entrepreneurs at Up Market Penicuik, too."

So far, UpMarket Penicuik has attracted eight retailers including sellers of crystals/holistics, arts, home and jewellery.

Stevie, who runs Aana Design – a homeware and handcrafted sterling silver and Jesmonite jewellery store – said: “I studied jewellery and silversmithing for six years between Glasgow College and Edinburgh University.

“This is my first year officially set up as a small business after selling at market events for a few years. Taking a pod seemed like the right opportunity for me. I was selling online but felt limited to what I could create and wanted to target more local areas and build a presence within Edinburgh and the Lothians.

“The pod acts as both a shop and workshop space has allowed me to show off what my brand represents and has given me more creative freedom."

The launch of UpMarket Penicuik has been organised to coincide with the Penicuik Community Council Street Fair, which will see 30 market stalls on the pedestrian shopping area outside the shops.

There will be an on-site raffle, with the prize including products from UpMarket tenants and a UpMarket voucher. There will also be free teas and coffees throughout the day offered by the café.

 Microshops can be found in: Pavilion Shopping Centre, Thornaby-on-Tees; The Centre, Margate; The East Gate Centre, Ipswich; Govan Cross Shopping Centre, Govan Cross; and The Wellington Centre, Aldershot.

 All of the Microshops occupy vacated larger stores in LCP Group’s retail centres and have been carefully fitted out to create a modern and fun environment where occupiers can brand their own space.

Anyone signing up for a retail pod will pay an affordable weekly rent that is inclusive of utilities. For or more information, email:  info@microshops.co.uk or visit: https://www.microshops.co.uk/