AN EXPERT in making the most of empty shops is coming to the Island.
Dan Thompson has been invited to the Island by a new group established to promote crafts people, designers and artists, the Isle of Wight Makers’ Group.
Mr Thompson has become one of the leading experts in the creative use of empty shops and has radical ideas about the future of the British high street.
He has written widely on the subject and advised local authorities.
He said: "Empty shops are an opportunity for a new business to be set up or for new ideas to come forward.
"The fallacy is that there is a recession, therefore there are empty shops.
"There has been a fundamental shift in the way we use our town centres. More people are going out of town to shop and going online."
Mr Thompson’s talk will take place at Quay Arts, Newport, on Saturday, July 7.
He has said a better use of empty shops would be for charities and community groups to use those premises to give them a high street presence so people could see their work more directly.
Event organiser Sara Netherway, of Isle of Wight Makers, said there would be a question-and-answer session after the talk, to give people the chance to talk about what ideas they think should be used on the Island.
She has also launched a website to promote more creative uses for empty shops, on iowpopupshops.co.uk
The site will give people the chance to discuss projects, find volunteers and get involved.
Anyone who wishes to attend the Dan Thompson talk can e-mail hello@isleofwightmakers. co.uk