Scheme breathes new life into empty Kettering shops

The new window mural in the former Totang Watchmakers in Newland Street
The new window mural in the former Totang Watchmakers in Newland Street

A new scheme which aims to breathe new life into old, empty shop units in Kettering has been unveiled.

Kettering Council has installed murals in the windows of four empty units in Newland Street in a bid to improve their appearance as well as showing potential shopkeepers how their own businesses could look.

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One of the first empty units to benefit is the former watchmaker Totang.

A spokesman for the council said: “Though Kettering benefits from lower than average vacancy rates, empty shops can have a negative impact on the character of town centres. These murals have been designed to give Newland Street a fresh facelift.

“Broken windows and unused doors have been replaced with scenes of chic, sophisticated vibrant businesses to inspire people to open up shops on Newland Street and positively showcase the prospects of our towns.”

The authority says it is now working with agents and landlords to roll out this approach to other empty units in Kettering, Desborough, Rothwell and Burton Latimer.

Alex Jelley, Kettering Council’s economic regeneration manager, said: “We constantly strive to attract private sector investment into our town centres.

“This is one part of our wider strategy for delivering town centres that the borough of Kettering deserves.

“The images we have used have been picked to reflect the possible uses for these empty units; we believe this will help encourage new investment in these premises, and Kettering town centre in general.”

Councillor Derek Zanger, Kettering Council’s portfolio holder for regeneration said: “We are determined to support vibrant town centres throughout the Kettering borough. These fabulous images show how the shops could look when brought back into use.

“Kettering town centre beats the UK average for closed shops but we’re determined to facilitate further improvements. This is a good example of something small that can make a big difference.”