Empty stores all set for brush up
ARTISTS could be allowed to take on vacant shops in a bid to improve the appearance of Stoke-on-Trent city centre.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council is working on a project to address the number of empty shops in Hanley, following the success of similar schemes in other cities.
The council is due to make a decision on the project within weeks and hopes it can help conjure up more interest in premises which are currently empty.
Another idea is to dress windows of some of the shops with professionally-produced artwork.
Our range of cleaners are the perfect choice and you always know where to get the bags or belts from so you aren't left searching.
SAVE £10 off any of our cleaners ONLY with this voucher!!!
Print voucher and bring in (car park behind store) or hand to our driver for home delivery items.
see www.panasonic-hanley.co.uk for more details of the range & delivery area
Contact: 01782 342609
Valid until: Saturday, June 08 2013
No details have been finalised on the cost of the project, or on how many empty properties it would encompass.
However, it has already won the backing of artists, shoppers and those whose workplaces overlook empty shops.
Michael Salmon, aged 41, owner of The Meeting Room cafe in Piccadilly, who commutes each day from Birmingham, said: "Empty shops do not give a good impression as people come into the area.
"Anything that can be done to change that is a good idea.
"It is much better than looking at empty premises. Some of them are quite clean, but others look pretty dishevelled."
Shopper Ronald Corden, aged 78, from Werrington, who is retired, said: "It would be nice if it brightens the place up a little. They have done a similar thing with a few of the houses that are being knocked down."
Lisa Whymark, aged 28, from Stone, said: "If the shops are empty, I can't see why this would do any harm.
"It looks a mess when you walk through town and there are dozens of empty shops."
Artist Roger Taylor, aged 31, of Oulton Road, Stone, said: "With the recession and all these businesses going bump, it would be nice to see something good going on for a change.
"I would be interested and I think a lot of other artists in the city would be too.
"Hanley is a busy place, so it will get eyes on paintings."
The Stoke-on-Trent City Centre Newsletter states: "The project will see some shops occupied by artists or artworks, while some windows will be dressed with high-quality professional vinyl images.
"The vinyls are tamper-proof, but can be removed quickly by professionals should the premises be let.
"Experience in other cities has proven that this type of initiative not only improves the appearance of the area, but can also increase the interest in the premises."
Councillor Hazel Lyth, the council's cabinet member for economic development and culture, said: "The council is working on a scheme to bring vacant shop windows back into use.
"There are a number of empty shop fronts in the city centre and the council is working with creative industries to find a way to make the city centre more attractive to visitors by creating strong visual imagery in the empty windows.
"A decision on how to achieve this is expected in the next few weeks."