Shoppers and artists get creative as empty shops given a new lease of life

Mark Willenbruch from the Havant Transition Network is asking visitors to create a montage of the town centre

Mark Willenbruch from the Havant Transition Network is asking visitors to create a montage of the town centre

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SHOPPERS were treated to the world premiere of a short film as one of the treats on offer at Havant’s Creative Days festival.

Empty shops upstairs in the Meridian Centre, West Street, were taken over by artists to encourage shoppers back into the town centre and also give film makers, poets and musicians a chance to show off their talents.

Mark Willenbruch at the Creative Days workshop in the Meridian Centre with a piece by Pat Grindey called Power Game

Mark Willenbruch at the Creative Days workshop in the Meridian Centre with a piece by Pat Grindey called Power Game

The three-day event, which began yesterday, was the idea of Havant Borough Council’s new cultural officer, Lea Guzzo.

She said she hopes it will be the first of many.

‘We want to encourage people to shop in the town centre but also give Havant’s quite exceptional artists the chance to showcase their talents,’ she said. ‘We want to show people there is life within the town centre and it is brimming with energy.’

Green group Havant Transition Network has taken over an empty unit for an exhibition on Havant through the ages and given the public the chance to draw on huge maps how they would like to see the town in the future.

Today folk musicians and dancers will perform all day while knitters put together a wool sculpture.

There’s also the opportunity to write poetry and watch the film, The Day I Met You, by Waterlooville brothers Chris and James Norton.

n To find out more go to facebook.com/pages/empty-shop-project.

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