Vacant shops on the high street often appear unloved and, sadly, attract vandalism and illegal advertising. In turn, thousands of pounds are being spent on street cleans, graffiti and poster removals, much of which could be avoided.
By using environmentally friendly ‘virtual windows’ Positively Putney are leading an initiative with landlords to improve the overall aesthetic of the town centre. In 2018 alone £14K was spent on street deep cleans and chewing gum removals, £3K on a litter campaign and our street ambassadors removed more than 50 illegal posters in a single day. This was in addition to the cleaning that Wandsworth Council undertake.
Made of vinyl, the virtual windows can be found at multiple locations on and around the high street including outside the vacant Halfords, M&S and Starbucks.
The windows create an attractive facade while, behind the scenes, planning applications and construction work can take place. Once new businesses move into the empty properties, the vinyl will be recycled into traffic cones – another important tick for the environment.
Putney is making good progress on attracting quality businesses to the area. Recently we’ve had ‘Gail’s Bakery’, new wine shop ‘The Sampler’ and clothing shop ‘ Trespass’ setting up in the heart of Putney.
However, it’s inevitable that a few shops will be temporarily empty and, while work goes on in the background to fill them, the virtual windows look good and attract shoppers and visitors to the area.
We believe measures like this will help Putney town centre remain an attractive and thriving location in the Capital for years to come.