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Shaftesbury has announced the launch of an all-new initiative, ‘Start Up with Seven Dials,’ an exclusive offering providing brands born from the ‘kitchen table’ during lockdown, the ultimate business incubator pop-up space to operate from in the heart of London’s West End for a limited time this Autumn.

While the COVID-19 lockdown has seen much uncertainty, 1 in 10 small businesses have launched new products or expanded their services from home. To celebrate and support budding UK businesses that have responded to adversity with enterprise, Shaftesbury is now exclusively offering start-ups the chance to secure a physical incubator space in Seven Dials and join the destination’s diverse roster of independent brands.

Available for all types of retail brands, including fitness, fashion, lifestyle and homewares, the initiative has officially launched via the Seven Dials website and will be open for entries for a two-week period. A panel of industry experts, including Krissy Turner, Shopping Editor at the Daily Telegraph; Tom Bottomley, Contributing Editor,, and Retail Consultant; and Retail Director at Shaftesbury, Samantha Bain-Mollison, will come together to judge all the entrants for this unique bricks-and-mortar retail opportunity.

The chosen brands will receive the support from Shaftesbury and Seven Dials to set up and launch their brand for the first time in the iconic West-End village. In the provided pop-up space, the brand will sit alongside a host of Seven Dials’ independent, designer and entrepreneurial brands such as Farah, Diesel, Coco De Mer and Tatty Devine, all of whom have opened flagships in Seven Dials.

Retail Director at Shaftesbury, Samantha Bain Mollison commented: “Seven Dials is home to many independent, flagship and concept stores so this initiative allows us to continue this support of incubating UK based brands. We recognise that 2020 has been very tough for many businesses, but it has also been a time of creativity with many start-ups harnessing the time in lockdown to evolve their brands and we want to help them take the next step with a bricks-and-mortar presence and encourage the future entrepreneurs of the area.”

Joe Kennedy, Co-Founder at Unit London, who recently announced the opening of their new permanent exhibition space, Unit-X in Seven Dials following a number of pop-ups in the area also added: “We are fortunate enough to have a seven-year long history of pop-up exhibitions in Seven Dials and have experienced first-hand the opportunities it offers to young businesses starting out. This is a fantastic opportunity for any budding business to get a foothold in the heart in one of the greatest cities in the world.”

Seven Dials has also recently implemented timed road closures until the end of the year in the area in partnership with Camden Council, between 10am - 6pm, seven days a week, to ensure safe social distancing. World-famous Neal’s Yard also benefits from a one-way system and additional cyclist parking spaces will also be available in the area.

Furthermore, many independent restaurants have extended the popular new Government Eat Out to Help Out scheme into September. These include popular Japanese restaurant, Flesh & Buns and Neapolitan specialists Rossopomodoro.

To find out more about the Start Up with Seven Dials application process, which opens on 29 September 2020, please visit or follow Seven Dials on Instagram (@7DialsLondon) to keep up to date with our news.


About Shaftesbury

Shaftesbury owns and manages a 15.2 -acre property portfolio in the liveliest parts of London's West End. Focused on restaurants, leisure and retail in the highly popular, sought-after and prosperous locations of Carnaby, Seven Dials and Chinatown, together with substantial ownerships in East and West Covent Garden, Soho and Fitzrovia.

The portfolio comprises 607 restaurants, cafés, pubs and shops, extending to 1.1 million sq. ft., 616 apartments and 0.4 million sq. ft. of offices. All our properties are close to the main West End Underground stations, which currently handle c228m passenger’s p.a., and within ten minutes’ walk of the two West End transport hubs for the Elizabeth Line, at Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street, which projections indicate could be handling 200 million passengers annually by the mid-2020s.


Seven Dials

Seven Dials is home to 95 shops, including international flagships and concept stores, renowned beauty and grooming salons as well as over 50 vibrant cafes, restaurants, bars and pubs. The area comprises of Monmouth Street, Earlham Street, Neal Street, Shorts Gardens, Neal’s Yard, Endell Street, Shelton Street, Mercer Street and the Seven Dials monument. Combined with two luxury hotels, five theatres, two private members clubs, a large number of apartments and offices, Seven Dials is a unique retail and leisure destination in the heart of London.


Notes to Editors

Details of the road closures

  • Monmouth Street will be permanently closed to traffic from St Martin’s Lane
  • Monmouth Street north will be closed to traffic at Princess Circus during the timed period
  • Residents only will have access to Seven Dials roundabout from Mercer Street
  • Neal Street north will be closed from Shorts Gardens during the timed period
  • The direction of traffic will be reversed for Shorts Gardens from Seven Dials roundabout to Endell Street and Monmouth Street south from Tower Street
  • Pedestrian access to Neals Yard will be from an existing entry point at the northern end of Monmouth Street, with visitors leaving via either a separate exit onto Monmouth Street or onto Shorts Gardens