More than half the ‘next steps’ narrative suggestions in our #TheVacantShopsAcademy reports for places we’re supporting to tackle vacancy are less directly about the empties themselves and more around wider #highstreet #placemaking.
Very often that’s included ways to bring more arts & crafts, creative, culture and community into the town or city centre, including popupshop / meanwhile.. use and, importantly, facilitating longer term stays.
For places that have little or none, we’re also encouraging them to look at the increasingly strong set of examples around the country of stunning #streetart.
Why…? Well take the first example in this set from New Brighton, Wirral we saw out & about with Institute of Place Management team mates. It’s on the gable end of a row of terraced houses you’d otherwise have walked past especially on a wet Wednesday. Instead we stopped and talked about its ‘why and how’ and photographed it and shared it across social media, and for sure someone who hadn’t planned to will now visit the town to see it.
But it’s more than that. It would’ve taken imagination and creativity, and permissions and positive, inclusive partnership working and funding and more. All among the things that we need to make our places the best they can be.
It might not be murals in your case, tho I 💯 think you might well go that route, but if you’ve all the above elements working in your place it will be stronger, and likely you’ll be reducing vacancy if that’s an issue for you too…!
Thanks to Daniel Davies, Jayne Casey and friends for taking the time to show us round and talk thru your awesome, inspiring, ongoing story…!