Published: November 2, 2012
'Ugly' shop shutters in Burnham-On-Sea could be decorated with art

Shop shutters along Burnham-On-Sea's High Street could soon be decorated with artwork in a bid to make the town centre more appealing to visitors in the evenings and boost the night-time economy.

At the latest meeting of the Town Council's Town Improvements Committee, several councillors said they believe the "ugly metal shutters" along the High Street make it appear that Burnham shuts down after 5.30pm, putting off visitors from coming into the town and hurting the trade of restaurants, pubs and clubs.

The Town Team's Bev Milner Simonds told the meeting that she has approached two shopfront design companies regarding the proposed art project, which would cost around £2,000 for six shopfronts to be spray-painted.

"Some will say this is nothing more than expensive graffiti, but the use of spray paint is the only similarity. The paint is a low cost material that is hard wearing, and the artwork itself would be of a high quality that would brighten up the High Street," she said.

Alex Turco, representing the Chamber of Trade, said: "It's logical that this idea is developed at the same time as plans to improve the brightness of street lights along the High Street."

But Mike Murphy, who is a member of the committee, said he is opposed to the scheme. "I feel this would be a direct contradiction to the Victorian image that we are trying to promote for Burnham. I don't feel it would be in keeping."

Mrs Milner Simonds says that a wide range of colours and styles of artwork could be adopted to ensure the designs are in keeping. "We are not proposing graffiti tags or names in bubbles - the artwork could be a Victorian seaside theme."

She added that the artwork would have a 10 year life span and be varnished to seal it from weathering and erosion.

Members of the committee decided to add the artwork scheme onto a list of a dozen projects that may benefit from funding from Tesco's £320,000 of community cash which is being given towards the regeneration of Burnham town centre to offset any damage from its store expansion.

Pictured: Top, some of the shuttered shopfronts that could soon be painted and, above, the Town Team's Bev Milner Simonds and Linda Bullimore


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