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Bid to bring back Puzzle Sq punters

Created on 18/08/2011 @ 16:48
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As Welshpool Town Council appeals for Puzzle Square to be ‘spruced up’, one owner has taken matters into her own hands in a bid to bring shoppers back to Welshpool’s forgotten area.
The council is writing to property owners and the Health and Safety Executive to seek repairs and work to benches, hedges and brickwork, claiming that public money shouldn’t be used as it would set a precedent.
But one unit owner, who has struggled to fill her property since a tenant departed, has decided to take a different approach to bringing the crowds back to Puzzle Square.
Jane Fletcher is providing her unit, which has been empty for two years and was previously occupied by Graham’s Fabrics, for free to a former student of Shrewsbury College and her tutor.
“We decided that action needed to be taken to draw attention to the area,” said Jane. “Our reason for exhibiting is that the shop premises have been vacant for two years and we have failed to secure a tenant.”
Jane met former student Eliza Glapinska at an exhibition earlier this year and offered the premises for a fortnight to exhibit her costume designs downstairs while her tutor and mentor Wendy Riddick will exhibit silk paintings upstairs.
“The exhibition will open with a preview today (Thursday) at 5pm, preceding the two-week showcase,” said Jane. “As well as the exhibition being open every day from 10am-4pm, Wendy will demonstrate silk painting in person and Eliza will be offering theatrical makeovers with digital photography this Saturday as well as on Saturday, Sunday and Monday over Bank Holiday Weekend.
And Jane says there has already been considerable interest from passers-by.
“Many people have stopped by whilst we have been installing the work this week to enquire. The exhibits have been thoughtfully contrived and we hope that their work will attract positive interest from across the region,” she said.
Concerns over the future of Puzzle Square were raised at the town council’s latest planning meeting, especially if Iceland decided to pull out, although there are no indications that this would happen.
Textile Gallery Exhibition
Textiles, Mixed Media & Photography Presented by Wendy Riddick and Eliza Glapinska
Friday, 19 August-2 September 2011 from 10am-4pm
There will be Silk Painting and Silk Papermaking Demonstrations by Wendy and Photographed Theatrical Makeovers by Eliza on Saturday August 20 and Bank Holiday Weekend Saturday, Sunday & Monday 27, 28 & 29 August

PICTURE: Two big units which lie unoccupied in Puzzle Square, one of which will become a temporary gallery this week.

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