Rather than standing empty, a shop in Friars Square is being opened up so community groups or charities can use it for free.
The scheme has proved popular in other parts of the country where empty shops have been used for drama rehearsals, art exhibitions and as a way of promoting what else the town has to offer.
The unit, between the Three store and Waterstones, has been set aside by Friars Square owner Grosvenor while it looks for a new tenant.
Ben Smith, from the 3Space charity which is overseeing the shop, said: “It gives another dimension to the shopping centre, it means it is not just retail in there, you have got something extra.
“People are going to be interested and asking ‘what’s going on?’ And it’s better than having an empty shop unit there.”
The shop is open to any community group which will use it to benefit the town in some way – but will not be allowed to become ‘another charity shop’ which sells second hand items.
Currently the Choice Support charity, which works with vulnerable adults and children, has indicated it wants to use the space to run workshops on weekdays.
An open day to promote the community shop is taking place on Thursday from 11am-3pm, when Ben will answer any questions about the scheme.
For more details visit www.3space.org