STIRLING business owners could win a free retail space in Stirling’s Thistles shopping centre as part of a plan to help the local community recover from Covid-19.

#ThistlesHelp is the first offering under the new scheme is the centre giving one emerging business from Forth Valley the opportunity to take ownership of a retail unit within the centre completely free of charge for a three-month period.

Another initiative within the scheme will see the Thistles team volunteer a minimum of 80 hours to worthwhile causes in Stirling during 2021.

Gary Turnbull, centre director at Thistles, said: “There’s no denying that it’s been a difficult year and we really want to do what we can to give back to the local community and help out where possible, which is why we’ve created #ThistlesHelps.

“We have a great unit available and we’re excited to be able to offer it to a local business which otherwise might not have the opportunity to be located in such a high footfall area.”

Supported by Go Forth Stirling, the lucky winning business will be given a 1,000 sq ft unit to operate from completely free of charge for three months, with all rent and utility charges covered.

Applications are welcomed from any and all emerging businesses in the Stirling and Forth Valley area looking for premises to aid them in their recovery and growth following the pandemic.

The entries will be reviewed by a judging panel who will consider the business concept, the impact being in the centre could have on the business, and what the businesses will be able to do with the space.

Entrants should submit their bid to by Friday, July 9 with the winner announced by the end of July.

Visit for more information.