Over a 12 month period, we will develop & deliver a community art & signage project, creating knitted signage panels for display in the windows of each of our high street businesses. Building on a style developed for our recently launched Shopping Guide, the panel designs will result from a competition for local schools/community groups and will be made into knitting patterns by our knitting shop. Courses, workshops and a range of events across the year will ensure everyone can get involved and will draw people into and connect them with the high street. Each panel will be knitted twice; once for the business windows and once for inclusion in a public art work for Emma Cons Gardens, highlighting the rich variety of our high street offering and unveiled during a community high street party. Concurrently, construction hoardings will display knitting themed signage and walks, worksheets, social media/press campaigns will ensure we raise the high street’s profile with a wider audience.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
Quirky and engaging, like our high street, this innovative, accessible, inclusive & cost effective project will:
• Re-unite a historic high street now split in two by Waterloo Road;
• Provide a critical signpost during a period when half of the high street will be visually cut off by building works at a key gateway;
• Celebrate and promote the rich & diverse offering of our high street;
• Re-engage & involve our community with the high street;
• Improve the physical appearance of our high street for all, making it more attractive to visit & spend time in;
• Create an additional reason to visit the high street, initially to participate in the creation of the artwork, then later to view it;
• Get people talking about us and provide a story which we can use to promote the high street to a wider audience through a dedicated marketing and communications plan;
• Re-invigorate the windows of empty premises, improving their appearance and displaying their potential to prospective tenants.
Steps to get it done:
This projects forms part of our wider 'High Street Plan', which has already seen us involved in delivering a range of projects, including the:
• regeneration of both halves of our high street;
• launch of our month long food festival;
• relaunch of our street market;
• launch of a new Saturday market;
• creation of marketing & market steering groups made up of local business owners & interested parties;
• creation of a property owners group;
• delivery of an innovative greening project;
• launch of our Waterloo Shopping Guide.
• With a range of projects still to come, including the:
• launch of a monthly themed Saturday market alongside our existing market;
• creation and delivery of a retail incubator space;
• development of a pocket park in an unused public space on the high street;
• delivery of a series of pop-up events in an unused public square on the high street;
• development of a digital media marketing strategy;
• negotiation of collective procurement initiatives.
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