The first ‘creative shop’ in Mid Ulster has done a thriving business in Magherafelt.
Used as a space for creative projects, the pop-up shop has been established in the town’s Meadowlane Shopping Centre by the Big Telly Theatre Company with support from Mid Ulster District Council, and so far has been a venue for arts workshops for local schools, as well as theatre and dance performances.
Chair of the Council, Councillor Linda Dillon, joined Castledawson Primary School on one of their four visits to the shop and was full of praise for the initiative:
“This is such a great idea, bringing arts right into the town centre and right into the daily lives of local people of all ages and backgrounds, and helping to animate an unused space as well.
“The programme has been very well received and the pupils from Castledawson primary were clearly enjoying their workshop, making using drama and theatre technique to creatively explore stories and learn more about their lives and communities.
“This is the kind of activity which I hope we can see more of in town centres right across Mid Ulster in the future”.
Alice Malseed, Big Telly’s Creative Shops Director has said that the project has been a great success in Magherafelt so far; she has welcomed local schools for drama weeks and also enjoyed sharing the space with local artists and community arts groups who have taken the reigns and used the space to promote and enhance their own already brilliant work.
The programme is part of larger project which has seen Big Telly, the longest established professional theatre company in Northern Ireland, travelling to towns around the country, converting unused retail space into a hub for all things artistic, taking the lead from local people and community groups to fill the shop with creative activity.