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Adopt an empty shop window in Gloucester

By The Citizen  |  Posted: November 15, 2012

community spirit:    A new campaign is being launched for shop owners in Gloucester to transform empty shop windows and fill them with decorations to make the city look less empty. The first person to do this is Forty Six owned by Jenny Norville who has done a nativity scene in the window of the shop next door.

community spirit: A new campaign is being launched for shop owners in Gloucester to transform empty shop windows and fill them with decorations to make the city look less empty. The first person to do this is Forty Six owned by Jenny Norville who has done a nativity scene in the window of the shop next door.

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A NEW campaign has been launched to fill empty shop windows in Gloucester city centre.

Businesses are being called upon to "adopt" a window in the city in a bid to make it more appealing to shoppers.

Jenny Norville, owner of Forty Six, in Westgate Street, is the first trader to take the plunge and she has taken on the window of the former Bride and Groom shop next door to her.

She said: "It is something I have wanted to do for some time, I wanted to make Westgate Street look more lived in. It has been there for a couple of weeks and we have had a lot of people in saying how much better it looks. It livens it up a bit."

Mrs Norville has created a nativity scene in the window, which she has leased until January.

"I would encourage other shops to do the same," she added. "If more businesses did this, then perhaps we would have less people saying how empty the city looks."

Ivan Taylor, chairman of Westgate Traders, is the man behind the scheme.

He said: "This shop is an experiment, what we really want to do is get more and more businesses involved in 2013. It is all about regenerating the city centre." Shop owners who want to get involved in the scheme are being instructed to call the number on the To Let signs above empty units and ask the owners if it is plausible to "adopt" the shop window.

Mrs Norville, at Forty Six, is paying a small license fee for the window, with an agreement to only go back three feet into the shop.

"There may be a small fee involved, but that would have to be agreed," added Mr Taylor. If we could fill every empty shop window, we would have a delightful city."

Gloucester city councillor Paul Toleman (C, Westgate) said: "I think it's a really good idea."

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  • mrktdd  |  December 05 2012, 12:58PM

    Hang on, why do the traders wanting to make their immediate area more creative have to pay a nominal fee? Isn't it in the interest of the empty shop owner to make it more appealing? It might be rented more quickly if the whole street looked fantastic.

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  • gloscityguy  |  November 15 2012, 11:11PM

    I agree with GlosAnarchy, Open the empty shop fronts to local artists could easily and cheaply turn the city into one huge art gallery

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  • FreeRadical1  |  November 15 2012, 3:52PM

    Business rates are set by central government, but rent is set by the owners of the properties. At the moment, they are trying to get more money out of their tenants than the tenants can pay, so shops are closing down. What is the actual fee to 'adopt' a window? The article doesn't say.

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  • geraint2010  |  November 15 2012, 2:23PM

    Hmmm, I can see this idea catching on. Let's see now, "This display courtesy of The XYZ shop - come visit our superb out-of-town store with ample free parking right outside the door!"

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  • Unidad1234  |  November 15 2012, 1:22PM

    I would love to adopt a empty shop instead if the rent and rate was fair. Stop window dressing face the issues

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  • Unidad1234  |  November 15 2012, 1:20PM

    I would love to adopt a shop for fair rent and rates. Which would give jobs?

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  • SELINA30  |  November 15 2012, 12:59PM

    This is just window dressing. What the city needs is a change of government.

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  • GlosAnarchy  |  November 15 2012, 12:49PM

    How about no Santa-clause shop? On a serious not why not let artists exhibit in empty shop windows, oh yes the council will want rates if any of the paintings are available for sale! Why can't the council get this sorted and maybe help some of the struggling artists earn a decent wage and fill the shop windows with attractive art that would enrich the cityscape.

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