Latest News | 28 March 2022

BIDs join forces to put poetry in the frame

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Visitors to Derby city centre are being encouraged to think positively through poetry, thanks to an initiative by the Cathedral Quarter and St Peters Quarter Business Improvement Districts.

The BIDs have been working in partnership with Derby City Council to deliver a project to brighten up shop windows with extracts of verse and bespoke artwork.

Both BIDs were awarded cash from the council’s Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) Vibrancy Fund for the project 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, while creating a more interesting and vibrant environment for visitors to the city centre.

Completed in time for World Poetry Day, which took place on 21 March, a dozen shops across the Cathedral Quarter and St Peters Quarter have been 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.

Artwork designed by Midlands-based artists has been added to windows of six unoccupied units in the city.

Artists involved are Lynne Hollingsworth and Carla Dee, as well artists from Artcore.

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

Martin Langsdale MBE, chair of the Cathedral Quarter BID, said: “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: “The idea to decorate shop windows with wonderful pieces of poetry reflects the positive impact that World Poetry Day has on us all.

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

Councillor Ross McCristal, the city council’s cabinet member for wellbeing, leisure, culture and tourism, said: “I am delighted by the response we have 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.”

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