The art of attracting new tenants
FILLING empty shopfronts with work by local artists could help to attract tenants as well as improve Folkestone's appearance, according to organisers.
Shepway District Council's Hidden Gems project, due to be launched on Tuesday, involves using the spaces and windows of properties in Sandgate Road and the Old High Street.
Organiser Emily Ghassenpour encouraged members of the public to come to the launch, outside the former Mark One shop at 1.30pm.
She said: "All the artwork's about Shepway so hopefully it'll really mean something to the local community.
"We asked them to focus on the hidden gems of the area, things that are always there but maybe some people don't realise how beautiful they are."
Altogether, 14 shops are involved, as well as three disused advertising hoardings.
Miss Ghassenpour said: "It brings the dead space back to life, which will hopefully make them more attractive to prospective tenants. Already, we're hearing comments from people who are seeing them in a different light.
"The long-term objective is, of course, to get them filled but in the interim, this is a solution that brings the empty shops back to life."
Shepway District and Folkestone Town councils are the main sponsors of the event but Miss Ghassenpour also thanked those that had contributed in kind, including landlords and Folkestone Town Centre Management.
Maps of all the properties, and three advertising hoardings, included will be available on Tuesday.
For more information, visit www.shepwayshiddengems.org, a site due to go live on the day.