Youngsters breathe new life into empty space
Creative schoolchildren have helped transform a shop window in
Scarborough as part of a scheme to breathe new life into empty
The “We love Scarborough because …” project is the brainchild of
graphic artist Adrian Riley and poet John Wedgwood Clarke from
Creative Coast and has backing from Scarborough Borough Council’s
Windows to the Borough group.
The aim is to see artwork installed in empty shops, which ties
in with council civic pride and regeneration goals.
The first window displays have been created at the former Mojo’s
Cafe at 18-20 Northway with the help of teenagers from local
They were asked to imagine themselves sitting in a café, sharing
stories about growing up in Scarborough and overhearing snippets of
conversation and on the back of that they have produced words and
images to adorn the empty windows.
Adrian, who is the co-founder and elected chairman of Creative
Coast, said: “The resulting window displays have massive impact,
are great fun and also share some positive messages about life in
“There is potential for this idea to really take off around
town, if shop owners with empty premises are prepared to lend the
space for a few months. We believe it would also be in their
interest because it would help attract new tenants.”
Creative Coast is the North Yorkshire Coast network for the
creative industries and currently has around 120 members.
The intention of the “We love Scarborough because …” project is
to team up poets, artists and designers with local residents to
help them share what they value about living in Scarborough.
These views will be shared to the rest of Scarborough through
empty shop windows which will also be transformed by bright,
By doing this, members of the Creative Coast team hope they can
share the positive civic pride messages to residents and visitors,
as well as smarten up streets that are suffering due to empty
The owners of the empty shops also benefit – by having a vibrant
display in their window it is felt the chances of that property
being filled and a new tenant secured are greatly enhanced.
The £4,700 funding for the scheme has come from the Scarborough
Borough Council led Voice Your Choice grant scheme.
The Windows to the Borough group has previously enjoyed success
with finding a new home for the Maritime Heritage Centre in
Eastborough, as well as the ‘Shop Lift’ scheme which saw the
Apothecary in Salisbury Arcade temporarily transformed by Crescent
Arts and students from Yorkshire Coast College.