Last week a double fronted empty shop in the south coast resort of Eastbourne was given a major makeover.
The project was the first by the town’s new ‘Spruce Up Squad‘, a group of volunteers who were concerned about rising numbers of empty shops and decided to take matters into their own hands.
The shop is among the most prominent in Eastbourne. It was a former Store 21 and lies in the middle of Terminus Road, the main shopping street.
The Squad wanted to install something that would mean a lot to the town. They opted for display of 40 photos from Eastbourne’s carnival, which returned this year after a 15 year break. Over 1500 walkers and 50 floats took part in the carnival and 25,000 people came along to watch.
Local photographers submitted almost 400 photos to choose from and a local graphic designer, Simple As Milk, pulled together the artwork. A window cleaner, Emerald Clean, and decorator, BikeVanHandyMan, gave their time in return for a credit on the window display.
“We wanted people to see themselves in the display and feel a part of it”, says Squad spokesman Will Callaghan. “And it seems to be working – we see people stopping and enjoying the photos, where they used to ignore the empty shop”.
The Spruce Up Squad hopes to roll out more event based displays around the town before moving on to pop up shop style projects.