In previous articles I have discussed that the empty shop problem in small towns and cities in the UK is becoming more and more prevalent. The issue’s significance is more profound in small towns in the UK such as my local town, Ludlow. All over the country, independent shops are being overlooked when there is an option to buy produce or materials from more convenient retailers such as supermarkets or shopping centres. Luckily, a couple of the empty shops have reopened but there are still a few remaining that bring an unwanted energy to the town. 

There is, however, some hope. A scheme taking place currently, led by Anabelle de Gersigny of Gather, tenant at SY8 Studios, aims to brighten up the empty windows in the town. The project plans to fill the windows with screen prints and artwork made by the citizens of Ludlow town. Using images inspired by Ludlow, our empty shop windows will soon be bringing joy to a town that’s spirit has been affected by the empty shop problem. 

With initial funding from Tally Ho Inn, Hundred House Coffee and SY8 Studios, the project is run with no structure, or planning in order for it to be people-led. It doesn’t take much to brighten the mood and aura of the high streets and everyone behind the project cares deeply about making Ludlow bright again. This ambition to do so is reachable due to the effort from the Gather team and supporters behind them along with the help of the public. 

The first workshop was held on Easter Sunday, outside the castle. With the help of local schools, nurseries, and local volunteers, the community-led project is already thriving after installing banners and art in their first window on the 23rd of April. There are many more windows to come and very soon, the project will bring colour and joy to the town. The team at Gather urge you to contact them is you know of a landlord with an empty shop so they can continue to increase their impact on the morale of Ludlow.