Urban Spaces

Urban Spaces is a Cairns Regional Council facilitated program that matches start-up businesses, social-enterprises and creative industry professionals with vacant commercial premises across the Cairns region.  

The program provides business support, tools and marketing to participants. It aims to activate business districts and buildings which would otherwise be empty, whilst providing a low-risk pathway for businesses establishing a shopfront.

Follow the Urban Spaces facebook page for program updates!


Pop Up Shop or Static Display

  • Short term tenancy agreements for a maximum of six weeks, usually at a reduced price
  • Suitable for short promotions and initiatives, window displays and testing your market

Short Term Lease

  • Matched with short term leases (3 - 12 months) 
  • Suitable for new businesses or online enterprises looking to expand into a shopfront

Creative Industry Space

  • Spaces for making, rehearsals, galleries and other facilities for artist-run-initiatives. Please contact info@tanksartcentre.com

Case Studies

School Savvy - Pop Up Shop

School Savvy by Centacare Cairns was launched in January 2017 in a vacant shop on Aplin St. It provided low-cost school uniforms and supplies to low-income families, receiving 573 customers in two weeks with $25,000 of net value of savings passed on to local families. See the video.

Makin' Whoopee - Short Term Lease

Makin' Whoopee Giftshop were placed on Grafton St, stocking items from over 50 local artists and other Australian-made products. They have a very prominent social media presence and received between 50 and 190 visitations per week to their shop. Makin Whoopee have incorporated markets and workshops into their retail space and have now taken out a long term lease in the Cairns CBD.

Get Involved

Apply for a Space

  • Applications ( DOCX, 0.15 MB ) to the Urban Spaces program can be made at any time.
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Urban Spaces team to discuss their proposal before submission.

Register a Space

  • Building owners and property managers without a current lease agreement for their premises can benefit from the Urban Spaces program with an additional revenue stream and activation of their building.
  • In all cases, participating Urban Spaces premises can still be advertised for long-term rent.
  • For more information, get in contact with the Urban Spaces team.


For download

Last updated: 03 May 2017