A SCHEME to turn empty shops into exhibition spaces has launched in Colchester.
Slack Space, which aims to brighten up the recession-hit town with the help of local artists, opened in Long Wyre Street, on Friday.
About 60 guests attended a private viewing at the old Roseby’s store, which has been taken over by a group of artists, filmmakers and volunteers for a reduced rent.
They will hold public exhibitions, screenings, art workshops and performances at the empty shop during a three-month trial.
If it is successful, it could be rolled out on a bigger scale.
Will Wright, who founded the group through the social networking site Facebook, said: “I think the glory days of having full occupancy in the town centre are gone.
“Many people agree we are always going to see a few empty shops.
“I would like to be able to set up as an organisation that could occupy any empty shop, at any time, and constantly have an artistic presence in the town.
“Everyone who came on Friday was really impressed.
“They were happy to see something different going on rather than it just being a disused shop.
“It’s something that can draw people in and encourage them to hang around town a bit longer.”
Slack Space is open to visitors from Thursday to Sunday, between noon and 6pm.