September 03, 2013
What do you do when the local stores have disappeared from your village, or Main street, or Downtown area – it’s a problem being faced by many places in many countries. Bushmills (yes, the Whiskey town) in Northern Ireland have a plan. Recognizing that plenty of tourists pass through the village (on their way to the Giant’s Causeway) they knew they just needed them to stop (and spend).
The Brighter Bushmills project, started by locals, who then got the support of the city and some funding from the government (after raising £30,000 pounds themselves) gave the town a facelift. Around a dozen derelict buildings have been given a facelift – one has been painted as an old-style cobblers , There is a bakery stacked with bread and cakes, a barbers and a bookmakers. Empty windows now have characters in them, and a building site has been made to look like a field with sheep in.
The really good news is that two of the buildings have now been occupied, and hopefully more to come. What a clever approach to solving a problem!