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Sook: Cambridge's New Retail Incubator

Impact data and claims within this report are provided by the project creator and have not been independently verified by Spacehive.

Sook: Cambridge's New Retail Incubator

Sook By Sook

Sook is a community space which allows anyone to rent premises on a short term basis and trial selling, exhibiting or discussing their product in a digitally enhanced, modular fitted out shop

Cambridge Delivery stage

pledged of £30,546

Sorry this project was unsuccessful, we did not reach our fundraising goal.

Sook creates versatile space that can be used by anyone for as short or as long as they want to. Currently the UK high street is under a major threat from online sales and high rates and rents. Sook's digitally enhanced fit out allows tenants to create a bespoke space at the touch of the button, which can be used for selling, showcasing, discussing or just relaxing. This removes the high capital costs normally associated with taking a retail lease. Sook's concept store will be located on Norfolk Street in Cambridge where it will have over 4000sqft of retail, restaurant, concert and co-working space. All of this space will be able to rent on a flexible basis to local people and businesses. The goal is to replicate the Sook mix across the UK occupying underused space in underperforming retail environments. It will make use of a digital fit out and proptech solutions focused around ease of payment. The concept aims to disrupt the current relationship between landlord and tenant.

What we'll deliver:

  • 1000+ sqft of space for the community
  • Access to affordable shops for retailers, artists and startups
  • Space for meetings, presentations and events

Why it's a great idea:

It is currently too expensive to occupy retail space on the high street. Retailers have to take long term leases and pay for expensive fit outs. It means that only the biggest businesses survive and local brands lose out. This has a knock on effect upon the local community. Sook aims to turn this situation on its head by providing retailers with flexible space which they can afford and a retail fit out that is as advanced as anything currently on the high street. Without having to make a 12 month plus commitment retailers will be able to experiment with space to complement their online sales. Linking a food and beverage offering to flexible retail and meetup facilities will provide spaces for people to congregate, to buy, to sell, to hang out. We will create a sustainable community centre which facilitates a sense of community and celebrates the individuality and the creativity of local people and businesses

Steps to get it done:

  • Installation of digital screens
  • Refurbishment of retail space

Our concept store has already launched with our existing onsite community of artists and is now looking for funds to cover the next stage of our evolution

Location Cambridge

About the space



Cambridge City Council

How will the money be spent?Total £30,545

Digital Screens - £9,276 (30%)
Demolition and repairs - £7,156 (23%)
Structural Changes - £5,000 (16%)
Painting - £2,400 (8%)
Electrics - £2,190 (7%)
Signstix Hardware (Quote for 4 units rather than 9 attached - £1,215 (4%)
Design Work - £315 (1%)
Other - £2,993 (10%)

Costs Breakdown

This shows how money raised for the project will be spent. These costs have been confirmed by the project's Delivery Manager and verified.

Digital Screens
Demolition and repairs
Structural Changes
Signstix Hardware (Quote for 4 units rather than 9 attached
Design Work
Other Read More
  • Spacehive fees
  • Transaction Fees
  • VAT


This project is enabled for overfunding. If the project hits its funding goal before the end of the campaign period, any extra funds raised will be spent (in order of priority) on:

  • Front door security, Internal security system, basement refurbishment, furniture acquisition

Total £30,545

Our Volunteer List

We're currently looking for people to offer skills and time to develop our project! Check out the list of what we need below and then use the 'Volunteer' button to the right to get involved.

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