Inspiring Business by Sharing Success

Derby BIDs celebrate World Poetry Day with window verse

Derby BIDs celebrate World Poetry Day with window verse

Visitors to Derby city centre are being encouraged to think positively through poetry, thanks to an initiative by the city’s two Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) to brighten up shop windows with extracts of verse and bespoke artwork.

Cathedral Quarter and St Peters Quarter Business Improvement Districts (BID) are working in partnership with Derby City Council to deliver the project as part of the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) Vibrancy Fund. Both BIDs were awarded the grants after successfully completing the application process late last year. The purpose of the grant fund is to support businesses through improved experience and increased footfall whilst creating a more interesting and vibrant environment for visitors to the city centre.

Timed to coincide with World Poetry Day on 21st March, 12 shops across the Cathedral Quarter and St Peters Quarter are being decorated with inspiring messages composed by poet James McInerney.  James is the driving force behind The Poetry Project, an initiative that promotes the healing power of words via empowering and motivational messages in public areas.

At the same time, artwork designed by Midlands-based artists will be added to windows of six unoccupied units in the city.  Artists involved are Lynne Hollingsworth, Carla Dee and artists from Derby based charity Artcore; Theodora Prassa, Joseph Winsborrow, Sofia Yala , and Craig Pound.

All poems and artwork will remain in place until the summer. 

Martin Langsdale MBE Chair of the Cathedral Quarter BID explained:

“Now lockdown restrictions have eased, we wanted to do something to cheer up shoppers around the city centre and give them something to enjoy.

“The BID wanted to celebrate World Poetry Day and create something bright and welcoming for visitors, who no doubt will love seeing the poetry on the shop windows.”

Helen Wathall MBE, chair of St Peters Quarter BID, said:

“We are really pleased to celebrate World Poetry Day. This idea to decorate shop windows with wonderful pieces of poetry reflects the positive impact that World Poetry Day has on us all.

“It is great to see both the Cathedral Quarter and St Peters Quarter coming together to organise this for visitors to enjoy.”

Councillor McCristal, Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Leisure, Culture and Tourism said:

“I am delighted by the response we had to the Council’s Vibrancy Fund. Ten local businesses were selected to receive a total of £250,000, and it’s been fantastic to see a number of those projects come to fruition already.

“This particular installation is a great, because it showcases some of our fantastic local artists, while also making use of empty spaces. These small interventions are critical to improving our city, and making it a vibrant place to live and work. It really helps to set the scene to make culture shine through; all the more pertinent with the impending City of Culture shortlist announcement!

“My thanks to the BIDs and all of the artists who have made this possible.”

World Poetry Day aims to encourage people to read, write, teach and publish poetry and recognises the great cultural contribution poetry makes to human society.

The Cathedral Quarter and St Peters Quarter Rangers will be playing their part during World Poetry Day by welcoming visitors to the areas and signposting them to all the best poetry!

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