A former vacant shop unit in Twerton High Street, Bath has been transformed into a community-led pop-up creative space and workshop for the Bath Carnival team.
The team will use the space over the next few weeks to work with volunteers and professional artists to make costumes for the July carnival.
The project has been delivered with support from Bath & North East Somerset Council and funded by the West of England Combined Authority as part of the regional ‘Love our High Streets’ pilot which seeks to re-vitalise and re-think the way local high streets are used.
Councillor Tim Ball, cabinet member for Housing, Planning & Economic Development, said: “I am delighted to champion this project which will provide a real boost for Twerton High Street.
“Our high streets are changing and we need to come up with new and innovative ways to ensure they thrive.
“High streets provide a focal point for communities; contributing to our health and well-being, reducing isolation and loneliness, reducing car dependency and promoting active travel.
“By creatively using vacant premises we can give our high streets a new lease of life and help support local businesses.”
Regional Mayor Tim Bowles said: “This is a great example of how our Love our High Streets project is helping to revitalise local communities by giving high streets and town centres a real boost.
“The future of our high streets isn’t just about shops, it’s about our businesses, community activities, services and homes.
“This is yet another example of how the West of England Combined Authority is making a difference in our communities.”
As well as using the space to create costumes for the parade, the carnival team will run, in collaboration with local charities, a series of community workshops on the site to help residents across Bath prepare for the big day.
Stuart Mason, Project Coordinator for Bath Carnival, said “One of the biggest challenges we face each year is securing a safe space for our artists to design create and repair costumes.
“This unit is a real game changer, with enough space for our lead artists to work on some of our largest structures and costumes as well as provided space for us to run sessions with volunteers and workshop participants to upskill them in carnival arts.
“Suitable spaces for the arts are really hard to come by, so we are very grateful to everyone who has helped make this happen. The results will be for everyone to see at the carnival in July, which is shaping up to be a pretty spectacular event!”
Bath Carnival takes place on Saturday 13 July and will involve a free ‘Party in the Park’ in Sydney Gardens and a two-hour carnival procession around Bath city centre.
Voluntary sector groups or charities are interested in using the Twerton High Street unit or other vacant premises in the area should email: environment&[email protected]