Empty spaces get a makeover to brighten up Wrexham

Reporter:

Lois Hough

EMPTY retail space in Wrexham will spring into life tomorrow.

Vacant stores and market stalls will be transformed into galleries and theatres by a group of residents determined to reinvigorate the town centre.

Visitors will also find drama, live music, poetry and art displays at the event across the Butcher’s, People’s and General Market in Wrexham.

Mike Corcoran, an amateur artist who works at Glyndwr University’s Techniquest, is leading the project, designed by the artistic collective known as ‘emptySPACE’, and says it is the first of many projects they have planned for Wrexham.

He said: “We’re very excited about being able to bring such a unique experience to the markets, and hope this will show other landlords in the town what great use an empty building can be put to. We wanted to do something positive for Wrexham and this is just the first of many things we’re looking to bring to Wrexham, and planning for the next emptySPACE project is already under way.”

Performing on the day will be amateur and professional local artists, and young artists whose work will be on public show for the very first time across 30 market stalls and 19 exhibitions in locations such as the former Butchers’ Market antiques store Camillo’s, which relocated to Coedpoeth.

Mike added: “Pugh’s Butchers, which has been empty for a long while now will become a creative space from which to produce the punk magazine ‘Zine’ and there’s an old glazing shop on Henblas Street, in the People’s Market, where there will be a live play being performed.”

Wrexham’s National Eisteddfod ‘Maes D’ organisers will also be ensuring things run smoothly.

Desdemona McCannon, lecturer in visual culture at Glyndwr University, says it will be a great opportunity for her students to gain experience.

“Using the markets for creative and cultural events is a great way for people to use the empty retail space in the town centre in a different way, and to bring people back into these places,” she said.

“The market is a fantastic venue and we hope the art school will be involved in future events such as these.”

Exhibitions will run from 11am-4pm and entrance is free and markets will be open for business as usual from 10am-5pm.

See full story in the Leader

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