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Case Study: Empty Shops

Inspired by the ‘To Let’ Signs outside of the empty shops  Pennine Lancashire’s LET project turned “Empty spaces into creative places”.  Under the collective working group Creativity Works, five local authority districts (Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle and Ribble Valley) came together to work on an empty shop programme.  Three joint working themes were agreed and each district facilitated how they delivered the project to ensure it met local need as well as the project objectives.  The joint project themes were: creative business development, town centre animation and collective communication. 
Funding was pooled from each district’s DCLG empty shop allocation of varying amounts and we were able to match this money by a collective Arts Council bid.  A 12 month programme was delivered across the 5 authorities, with the scale in each district being influenced by the amount of DCLG money allocated to the project. 
LET was about town centre animation as well as empty shops and consequently the variety of the programme was vast.  A short video, project photo’s and artists blogs can be found on the following website.  The project Evaluation report is also available here, the final section of this report details recommendations for the future that any one considering doing something similar in the might find useful to consider.