Saturday, 28 November 2020

Town centre to get ""interactive""

RESIDENTS of Henley are being asked to come up with designs to brighten up the town centre.

An interactive chalkboard is to be set up on the front of the former Blockbuster video rental store in Market Place.

Passers-by will be encouraged to draw something and then take a photo of it and upload that to Twitter.

The “interactive window dressing” initiative is part of a bid by South Oxfordshire District Council to brighten up empty shops in the town during the peak tourism season.

The chalkboard will take up half of shop window space while the other half will be themed around Henley’s River and Rowing Museum.

Anyone who creates a design will be entered into a draw to win tickets to see a film of their choice at the Regal Picturehouse cinema. Also included in the scheme is 31 Hart Street, formerly Oxbridge Sports Ltd, where Lady Sew and Sew will dress the window in soft furnishings, bunting, textiles and a hand-sewn boat created by children.

The district council hopes the project will “encourage a positive attitude to vacant units and create intrigue in areas that have become quieter”.

Councillor Judith Nimmo-Smith, cabinet member for economic development, said: “While ideally we would love to see new tenants taking over these empty units, getting to that stage can be a very long process.

“This project will make good use of the available window space and help make the town look that little but more interesting for visitors.

“We particularly look forward to seeing what people do with the interactive chalk board and hope those visiting the town centre make the most of it.”

The scheme is supported by estate agents Ballards and Simmons & Sons.

Designs should be tweeted to @SOxonTourism using #Henleychalk or email them to

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