Designing a modern town centre and how to provide effective outdoor power

Town centres are undergoing a period of significant change. Footfall has dwindled over the years due to online shopping and there is a lower demand for retail space than before. However, the Government, together with local councils, are undertaking projects to regenerate such town centre spaces trying to re-establish them as attractive places to visit.

Part of such regeneration plans include organising outdoor events to create physical experiences for visitors e.g. market days and festivals. Powering such events can often be problematic, with traditional power supplies such as petrol generators, posing health and safety risks.

Pop Up Power Supplies® supply a range of Outdoor Power Units which are ideal for town centre spaces, market days, festivals and other built up areas.

We have three types of power unit, including Pop Up Units which can be raised and lowered from the ground as and when they are needed. In-Ground Units which can provide a source of electricity with the lids locked down ensuring clear, safe walkways. And finally, Power Bollards which provide a source of power in elegant street furniture format.

Pop Up Power Unit at Wembley Arena Square

The changing landscape of town centres

The considerable shift in consumer trends and habits has meant more and more shoppers now favour buying goods online. Not only that, but out-of-town shopping centres are also increasingly popular as they offer retail experiences as well as leisure facilities e.g. restaurants, bowling, arcades, in one convenient location.

These factors have compounded to create difficult economic conditions for town centres. Footfall has dropped dramatically in town centres over the years and local councils are now trying to address this issue. They are trying to re-establish town centre areas as attractive places where people visit and developers invest.

Councils throughout the UK have developed ambitious plans to create positive change in town centres to encourage visitors, investors and businesses, with the overall aim to boost the macro economies. Planning Policy Statement 6: Planning for Town Centres (PPS6) sets out the Government’s policy in England on planning for the future of town centres and the main uses that relate to them.

Council Planners have to work with existing outdoor spaces, often rich in Heritage. They have to create positive sustainable and economic changes to increase awareness in the town centre spaces. A popular way to do this is by organising outdoor events.

Powering built up environments

Traditional market days and festivals are commonplace in town centres throughout the UK. Indeed, Christmas Markets have surged in popularity over recent years. Stalls and kiosks selling artisan products, local food produce, clothes, crafts, toys and much more, are helping to draw crowds back to town centre areas.

Such festivals and market days have to ensure safety is paramount, safeguarding the visitors. Traditional means of powering stalls and staged events include power generators being located around the grounds, with trailing leads.

This poses various safety hazards including trip hazards for visitors and traders as well as electrocution hazards with the exposed generators and electricity sources.

A solution to these issues is our range of Retractable Service Units, which provide a safe, sustainable source of electricity to outside spaces.

Providing safe outdoor power solutions for town centre redevelopments

Pop Up Power Supplies® supply a range of innovative Outdoor Power Units which help Local Councils in their redevelopment projects. The retractable nature of the power units and the increased safety they bring to town centre areas is greatly appreciated by Council Planners and Market/Festival Organisers.

Powering built up environments

Pop Up Power Units

Our Pop Up Power Units can be raised and lowered easily with a detachable handle, and provide a range of electricity sockets, water supply and data points. The units are easily design and installed into town centre areas and only require light excavation.

On event days, Festival Organisers and Market Day Traders simply raise the power units where they then have access to a range of power sockets. These range from 16A to 12 5A power supply in both single and three phase, all with RCBO protection.  When the festival or market event finishes, the power units are simply lowered back into the ground until the next event, where they blend seamlessly with the local environment.

In Ground Units

One of the main advantages of our In Ground Power Units, or Flip Lid Units, is that they can be operated with the lids locked down. The units sit in the ground flush with the surface level, and when needed, the user simply opens the lid to reveal power sockets or water supply.

The power units provide a stable power supply to outdoor festivals and markets stalls preventing any public access and reducing trip hazards.  The power sockets are safely located within the high-grade mild steel structure, which is hot dip galvanised to BS EN: ISO1461. The lids are also recessed and can be infilled with the surface material to create a seamless environment.

Power Bollards

Our range of Power Bollards provide a safe form of outdoor power, with architectural appeal. Available in various designs and configurations, the bollards are built using the finest AISI 304 stainless steel AISI 316 with a plate thickness of 2mm. This ensures a robust and hard-wearing structure that Architects and Contracts can have confidence in, reassuring them that the units will stand the test of time.

Pop Up Power Units for town centres across the UK

Our range of power units have been specified in town centres across the UK, including Pop Up Units at Covent Garden and Rugby Town Centre; In Ground Power Units at Stamford, Lincolnshire; and Power Bollards at Gravesham, Kent.

The simplicity of specifying the pop up plug sockets means the units are a favourite with Architects, Contractors, Electrical Engineers, Developers, Local Councils and many more professionals.

Back to Latest News

Useful links

View our Case Studies
View our Brochure
Technical Downloads

Watch our company video