Vacant shop units will be brought to life thanks to BID Leicester and Bring The Paint

BID Leicester and Bring The Paint are launching a window dressing programme on vacant shopfronts in the city centre, with eight units to be given a make-over this weekend thanks to artists involved in the street art festival.

The vacant units project is being delivered as part of the BID’s commitment to creating a clean, safe and attractive city centre environment.

Units in locations across the city including St Martins Square, Market Place, Belvoir Street and Market Street will be brought to life with live window illustrations by world-class artists, incredible vinyl art and 3D sculptures. Artists involved include SMUG, RUELO, SAM GRUBB, ALEX RUBES, MONO, GENT, PHILTH and 45 RPM.

The scheme aims to improve the look of vacant units to create a positive effect for the surrounding business area, highlight commercial space for prospective tenants and give visitors and residents in the city centre a taste of what’s to come at Bring The Paint festival later this month.

Simon Jenner, BID Leicester Director, said,

‘This project is important to the BID and to our members who have expressed concerns about the presentation of some empty units. Whilst Leicester has fared well regionally and nationally when it comes to net store losses, I am pleased that BID Leicester can provide a vibrant and creative solution to smarten up the city, as well as build good working relationships with landlords and agents so we can continue to work together in future.

‘We’ve seen in other cities that schemes of this kind lead to empty properties being let quicker as well as improving the overall look of the city for visitors and residents.

‘We are delighted to have delivered this project with Bring The Paint, who have a track-record for working with world-class artists whose artwork captures the public imagination.

‘I hope that visitors to the city will take the opportunity to enjoy these artworks and hopefully return in a few weeks to see these talented artists take part in Bring The Paint festival.’

Izzy Hoskins, Bring The Paint Festival Director, said,

‘We are really pleased to be working alongside BID Leicester in brightening up a number of vacant units in the city centre. We hope the artworks will encourage people to explore the city whilst feeling inspired.’

Visitors hoping to see all eight of the artworks in the city can download the LoyalFree app for free on their smartphone to access a digital trail of all the locations from Monday 6 May. Those who download the app and vote for their favourite window before Wednesday 22 May will be entered into a prize draw to win a Bring The Paint goody bag, including a festival t-shirt and tote bag, a Leicester Street Art Guide and a £50 voucher for the art fair where they can purchase a print from one of the festival artists.

Bring The Paint is taking place in Leicester city centre from 20 to 26 May, with the main events happening on Saturday 25 May in the Cultural Quarter and Sunday 26 May at Frog Island.

The festival is expected to attract 10,000 visitors to the city and will see giant murals painted on the city’s buildings as well as spectacular 3D floor art. There will be opportunities for children and families to get involved with workshops, music, food and drinks.

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