Ludlow town centre is still doing well but some areas look a bit down of heel of late. We have too many empty shops. Too many blank windows. The reasons for this are complex. Online retail. Supermarkets. Parking charges. Rents. Rates. And retirement of owners of independent businesses. Empty shops are not good for the people who live in our town. They are not good for our visitor economy.

As citizens, as artists and as councillors we have no powers to fill empty shops. But we can smarten up our town centre.

That’s why we are launching Brighter Ludlow, an arts initiative to smarten up the town centre with vibrant installations in shop windows, led by the community.

Working with Gather, a new cowork, arts and cultural space in East Hamlet, we aim to get going quickly. We have raised initial funding from SY8 Studios and Tally Ho Inn Bouldon, and Hundred House Coffee.

We need to get going on smartening up the town centre

We are calling on schools, nurseries and anyone keen to take part as we develop a series of scrolls and banners to activate the empty shop windows. Shops who are keen to join in with posters are also welcome.

The owner of the former Costa Coffee at 4-5 King Street has already given us permission to fill the windows.

All our art will stay in place until new tenants take over the spaces. If a shop is empty for a long time, and let us hope not, we will replenish the art. Empty windows help no one.

This is community art project, a meanwhile project, and a great opportunity to involve as many people as we can and take ownership over the identity of our beautiful town. This project is for everyone. Not just creatives. Anyone keen to try their hand at screen printing. It is for the younger generation, the older community and everyone in between.

A community arts workshop will be held on Events Square, outside Ludlow Castle, from 10am to 4pm Easter Saturday, 30 March. We are encouraging people to drop by and take part.

This is the start of a project that we hope will brighten up our town centre and make it attractive for new retailers and for visitors. Like the Ludlow Mural project nearly five years ago there is no committee. No structure. No firm plans. What we have is ambition. And a burning desire for a Brighter Ludlow.

We will be releasing more information in the coming days.

We are Anabelle de Gersigny of Gather, Tracey Huffer Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow East and Andy Boddington, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow North.

Further information

The Easter Saturday project was commissioned by Hundred House Coffee under the banner of Tether. Each participant is invited to create their own print – screening an image inspired by Ludlow onto a continuous scroll of paper. One artwork links to the next, tethered by a visible crossover. ⁠Using a limited series of illustrations and colours, but through endless possible variations, we can celebrate both our differences and our shared qualities.⁠ For the Ludlow edition, we are calling on the community to share images that mean Ludlow to them – is it rivers, hills, the castle, the market, tractors? From these, artist duo Toucan Tango will develop a portfolio of shapes and forms that relate back to the unique qualities of the town.

2 thought on “Brighter Ludlow launches with ambition to smarten up our town centre”
  1. Isn’t an obvious answer to the inevitable shrinking of retail is to create a smaller town centre footprint by changing the use of premises on the periphery from retail to residential when they cease to trade?

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