Sunday, 27 February 2011

Pen & Paper: Saturday 5th March

This coming Saturday I have organised a fund-raising event.

Pen & Paper,
Saturday 5th March, 5pm-11pm,
The Green Door Store,

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Empty shops make up 14.5% of town centres

In this article from Property Weekly, property experts give their opinions of the changes faced by high streets and retailers across the country.

Matthew Hopkins, director of The Local Data Company, points to the problem that many smaller retail units in local shopping areas are 'not fit for the purpose of modern retailing'. Professor Barrry Gilbertson also recognises the desire of big brand retailers for larger retail units that can compete with the large stock holdings of their online competitors. This shift towards retail parks and shopping centres, and away from high streets, has left 'a lot of vacant shops which will never be replaced'.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Proposal Document

'The scope of activities at the CAA is limited only by our imaginations. They could last for the whole four days, or just 30 seconds, aimed at toddlers or 80-year-olds, use the entire space or occupy a cupboard. We will be looking for proposals that challenge traditional modes of learning, that inspire, confuse or excite, that are inclusive and inviting, that restore a sense of magic and discovery to our city.'

I've written a proposal document that can be downloaded will explain in more detail the structure and goals of the project.

Please have a look at it to find out what the CAA will be all about, and feel free to pass it on and show it to anyone who you think would be interested.

The Common Academy of Arts Proposal (<- click)

Rays of hope... (a nice photo to brighten things up)

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Queen's Square, Brighton

A bright future awaits.

I admit I have never walked up the road between Dyke Road and Queen's Road that is apparently called Queen's Square and was the home of Brighton's ice rink for 30 years before its closure after an arson attack in 2003.

According to the Brighton and Hove News the site has been sold to hotel developers who are expected to make a planning application in six months time. Perhaps in the interim period, if it's safe to do so, they'd like to house the CAA in their new acquisition?

Perhaps... off for a peek tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Locations and properties

I'm trying to work out what I want from a location, and what is feasible.

The main considerations I'm trying to work out are whether to look for somewhere slap bang in the centre of town, or further out, and whether we should aim big, or keep small.

Thoughts on each so far:

Potential for high footfall- shoppers and tourists. Easier to convince people to make the journey to come. Basically, lots of people. However perhaps harder to get them to stop and look around, pause and explore.

Further out:
(Such as London Road, Lewes Road, Portland Road) It would be nice to take something out of the centre, into a community. Also potentially cheaper. Less passing trade but maybe better potential to engage with the community.

A lot of space would obviously enable a wider range of activities, and the chance to have a number of things happening simultaneously. It would be great to be able to seat at least 30 people for talks or screenings, have a bar area, and workshop space. I would also love to be able to hand out space to other organisations to use.

Much easier to organise, cheaper, less to do! It would force us to use the space very carefully. Less people needed, though whether that's good or bad I don't know. Basically easier, but less exciting.

I suppose a lot will be decided by what properties are actually available. I need to make contact with some agents and landlords, which is a scary prospect. Any advice or contacts would be hugely appreciated. Please contribute your thoughts in the comments if you have any.