Blackburn is Open Launch

Blackburn is Open is holding an official opening of Blackburn’s first ever pop up art centre tomorrow, another step for the scheme in creating a more vibrant town centre.

Formerly known as the ‘T-shop’, the centre on King William Street has already been home to Blackburn is Open’s popular art market and activities like lantern making workshops.

It has undergone a major transformation over the last two months with help from Blackburn businesses Crown Paints, Graham and Brown and Parkinson’s signs.

Running from 12.30 — 2pm, the opening will see representatives from Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, local business leaders and creatives gathering to celebrate the project and to discuss the development of the scheme.

Design guru Wayne Hemingway, the creative director of Blackburn Is Open along with Council leader Kate Hollern will also attend.

Guests will have the opportunity to take a trip over to the St Johns centre, which is currently being transformed into a gallery and arts studio for Blackburn College students.

It will be open to the public and also host artist residencies, the first of which starts this week with Goldsmiths University graduate Kirsten Glass.

Local creatives, taxidermist Nicola Hebson and furniture upcycler Ashley Rees will also be showing guests around the empty shops they are due to open with the help of Blackburn is Open.

Blackburn is Open sees a war waged on empty shops, offices and spaces in Blackburn Town Centre with premises given over to entrepreneurs with ideas that revolve around ‘making’.

Councillor Maureen Bateson, Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “The launch of this arts centre is another step for Blackburn is Open in making the town a more bustling and vibrant place to visit and shop.

“We have some really talented, creative and ambitious people living here in the borough and I’m sure that with their help we will see the scheme go from strength to strength”.

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