Media Release: Award-winning approach to empty shop windows

KIRKCALDY, in Fife, has employed an imaginative tactic to liven up empty shop front windows on its high street.

A partnership project between Fife Council and Kirkcaldy4All commissioned original vinyl artwork to create the impression that vacant shops were occupied.

Derek Munn, graphic designer, and Andrew Walker, economic adviser, with Fife Council’s Enterprise & Protective Services, led the project and commissioned Adrian McMurchie, illustrator for The Herald newspaper, to design traditional shops window scenes including a toy store, ironmonger and delicatessen, to be used on empty shop windows to create the impression of a thriving business in the vacant unit.

As part of Fife Council’s Vacant  Retail Property Strategy, Fife Council are working in partnership with Kirkcaldy4All to address empty shop units on Kirkcaldy high street with a number of different approaches.

One of the shops treated to the vinyl make-over is the Emporium, which is destined to become a pop-up gallery. Over the summer months, the Emporium will house local artists work and host a variety of events.

This unique and resourceful approach to reviving the high street has won Best Use of Illustration at the Creative Exchange Awards which take place today, Friday 3 June, at the Apex City Hotel in Edinburgh.

The Creative Exchange was set up in 1998 and plays a key role in promoting in-house graphic design and photography across a wide range of public sector organisations. Membership includes representatives from local authorities, hospitals, museums and galleries, universities and colleges, and charities.

Bill Harvey, of Kirkcaldy 4All, commented: “Kirkcaldy 4All are delighted with quality and content of the shop windows and very pleased to be working in partnership with Fife Council’s Enterprise & Protective Services.”

Andrew Walker, economic adviser with Fife Council’s Town Centres & Regeneration Team, said: “The vinyls help to create an impression of a thriving high street and gives prospective tenants a flavour of how good the shop could look.

“This is just one of the measures within the Vacant Retail Property Strategy to encourage investment by new tenants into these units and which supports Fife as a great place to live, work and do business.”

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Contact: Frances Chisholm
Phone: 08451 555 555 Ext 44 26 89