People in Northampton have been covering an empty shop in Northampton’s Abington Street with stickers stating what they would like it to be as part of an street art project.
The project, called #IWTW (I wish This Was) has been launched by the Northampton Green Party to “give local people a voice and start conversations on the use of empty space and buildings in the town”.
On Saturday, party members gave out hundreds of free A7 stickers and posted them on the window of the empty store on Abington Street in a set design. Shoppers were then able to fill them one out with the idea of what they wanted the empty space to be used.
Tony Clarke, the Green Party parliamentary candidate for Northampton North in the recent General Election, said the stickers can be easily removed without damaging property and also include a message to stick responsibly and avoid obscenities.
He said: “We expected some response but the level of interest and participation has been staggering, suggestions ranged ranging from the functional to the poetic: contributions ranged from I wish this was… pop up shops, a creche, , a flower shop, a source of tasty healthy food I could afford, an art gallery, people were being at their creative best.
“The project is self-policing, the stickers themselves are easily removed and most people respect our wishes, we don’t want to create “rules” and we will never stop one or two thinking it clever to abuse the opportunity, but we and the general public are both acting as responsible censors of inappropriate posts.”
Mr Clarke said the purpose of the event was to “start conversations, engage with the public and allow people to express themselves and to interact positively with the Green Party.”
He said: “We also want to give Northampton its voice back, public consultations are often manipulated by the powers that be to suit their own motives, we can’t make the building owners do as we wish and we can’t force the council to act, but what we can do is give a sense of truth and purity to the conversation, give our councillors and building owners the information as to what the public really want and ensure that our views are on record”
The Green Party has extended the project to #IWTW2 on the site of the recently demolished Castle Buildings in Marefair/Black Lion Hill.