Artwork created by local artists will be popping up around Southend promoting keeping safe whilst returning to the borough’s shops.
The artwork will appear in shopping districts across the town from this week and will promote key messages for keeping to social distancing measures and also reminding visitors of the ‘hands, face, space’ message.
Two local artists – Sarah Judd and Darren Goddard – had their designs chosen by a panel of representatives from the council, Southend BID, retailers and businesses across the borough, following a call out in July 2020 across the Visit Southend social media channels.
Sarah’s work will appear on signs throughout the various shopping areas across the town, reiterating the social distancing message, whilst Darren’s work will feature on bus stops across Southend, promoting the ‘hands, face, space’ message.
The project is led by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and Southend BID, and the artists are funded through the Reopening High Streets Safely fund and the European Regional Development fund, which had previously been used to put safety measures in place to safely open the town’s shopping districts following the lockdown in March.
Cllr Kevin Robinson, cabinet member for business, culture, and tourism, said: “I am delighted to see local artists having their work displayed across the borough for thousands of visitors to see as they return to the shops for their Christmas shopping.
“In a time when the arts industry has had such a challenging year, I was pleased to see that we’ve been able to support Southend’s incredible cultural talents. The hardest part of it all was to select the winners from all the fantastic submissions we received, and I would like to thank everyone who submitted a design for this project.”
Suzanne Gloyne, Southend Business Improvement district manager, said: “We know that everyone has had an extremely challenging year, but with businesses that were temporarily closed now reopening, I am pleased that we have been able to provide local artists this platform to share their pieces of art with all of the town’s visitors.
“I would like to encourage local artists to keep their eyes peeled, as we are hopeful that we are able to build on this project and provide further opportunities to support our talented residents.”
In addition to the signs created by local artists, the standard shop local, shop safe signage put up on lampposts earlier this year have also been replaced with new lamppost and bollard signs across shopping areas.