Art fills the gap as pop-up shop takes top spot
ART SMART: Harriet Brittaine delivers her Horse and Birds painting to the pop-up shop with organiser Marie-Anne Leonard.
Stephanie Gray with her Paddy Fields painting.
CREATIVE DELIVERY: Lou Willis contributes her Autumn 2 painting.
ARTISTIC types are battling the recession by taking over some of a town's empty shop units.
Organisers of Maidenhead's successful Art on the Street festival opened a pop-up shop in Unit 30 of the Nicholson's Centre, opposite Kings Street Market, and filled it with small creations by local artists, on Friday, April 25.
Similar projects are planned for other empty units around the town centre and Marie-Anne Leonard, organiser of Art on the Street, said: "The shop looks great and we have already had interest in some of the art on display. We have really brightened up that part of town and it gives another platform to artists to display their work."
Maidenhead missed out on £100k of funding available through a new Government scheme, Portas Pilots, inspired by television's high-street guru Mary Portas, when the 12 winners were announced on Saturday, May 26.
Mrs Leonard was part of the Town Team that put the bid together, but is not disheartened by the Government's snub after receiving a personal message from Mrs Portas.
Mrs Leonard said: "Mary sent me a tweet and said Art on the Street was exactly the kind of project that inspired her pilot scheme. It is good to know we are on the right track and our good work is not going unnoticed."
Maidenhead was not alone when it missed out on Government funding to rejuvenate the town centre.
Slough and Windsor were among more than 370 applications for the scheme, but a second round has been announced which will see another 15 towns awarded £100k in July.
Maidenhead and Slough both intend to re-apply, but Paul Roach, Windsor's town centre manager, is undecided.
Mr Roach said: "I need to speak to our traders and decided what we want to do next, but it may be that we focus our attention elsewhere. We make bids for funding streams all the time."