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Young Uttoxeter artists to improve empty shop units

22/10/13 Lions guy contest - Uttoxeter, Uttoxeter
St Marys First School - Lions Guy Fawkes Judging - Graeme Jones

22/10/13 Lions guy contest - Uttoxeter, Uttoxeter St Marys First School - Lions Guy Fawkes Judging - Graeme Jones

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AN ARTISTIC movement is sweeping across Uttoxeter to improve the appearance of vacant shops.

A young team of artists from Thomas Alleyne’s High School are aiming to improve the appearance of Uttoxeter town centre by ‘lighting up’ the centre with illustrations.

The aim of the project, as outlined on the group’s social media account, is to promote Uttoxeter town centre as a shopping and entertainment destination alongside the work of the Uttoxeter Town Team.

The ideas came about as part of a brainstorming session by the Uttoxeter Town Team on how best to spend £10,000 to improve the town centre.

One issue that frequently came up during the Town Team consultations was the state of the empty shops in town.

The main illustrations will be done by young artist Ella Kasperowicz.

Examples of her work themed around Uttoxeter town centre are to be found on the Facebook and Twitter pages of Light Up Uttoxeter.

Ella, a Year 13 student at Thomas Alleyne’s High School and a Saturday shop assistant at Friary Shoes in High Street, has recently secured a place on the Illustrators course at Falmouth School of Art. She said: “I love Uttoxeter and think it is a great place to live and shop. I was inspired by the beautiful architecture in the town and decided that I would go out and sketch as many of the town centre buildings as I could. I then came up with the idea of the ‘Light up Uttoxeter’ campaign to try to stimulate more trade in the town.”

Graeme Jones, leader of the Uttoxeter Town Team, said: “When I first saw Ella’s drawings I realised how special they were and I was delighted when she generously offered them for our use. We decided that the launch for the Light Up Uttoxeter campaign should be combined with the Acoustic Festival when there is a large influx of visitors to Uttoxeter.

“To date 21 town traders have agreed to put on a special offer between May 22 and May 31. You will know which shops are taking part because they are going to put a guitar in their window and Light up Uttoxeter posters stating what their offer is.

“In addition on May 30 and May 31 there will be free live entertainment in Market Place.

“The marketing campaign consists of flyers that Ella has designed that will be delivered around town and posters.

“It’s not too late for other town traders to join the Facebook and Twitter campaign and advertise their own Acoustic Festival offer.

“To join in they should contact me on townteam@uttoxeterlions.co.uk”

More information on Light Up Uttoxeter is on Twitter at @lightuputtox and on Facebook.

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