Pop-up ‘talking shop’ set to launch in Hartlepool’s Church Street

A new pop-up shop is to open in Hartlepool’s new-look Church Street in an bid to connect people with a passion for art and culture.

Friday, 1st March 2019, 5:00 am
Updated Friday, 1st March 2019, 9:37 am
Church Street, Hartlepool

The Talking Shop will host cultural events and act as a drop-in hub for creative people to share ideas and connect with like-minded people.

The project, which launches from Thursday, March 7, is being set up by cultural regeneration organisation Empty Shop CIC and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England.

Councillor Kevin Cranney

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It is part of a new Great Place Tees Valley project to bring vacant buildings back to life on a temporary basis, and aims to build on the recent £1.1million Townscape Heritage redevelopment of Church Street.

Empty Shop director Carlo Viglianisi said: “We’ve spent the past few months connecting with as many creative people as we can in Hartlepool, but we know there are more out there. 

“Talking Shop will hopefully be a catalyst to bring together all of those people under one roof, to kick off a conversation about culture in Hartlepool.”

Two taster sessions will be held next as part of a new digital storytelling project called Wayfinder which has been commissioned as part of Great Place Tees Valley for July’s Hartlepool Waterfront Festival.

People can learn more about the project and record each other’s stories on Wednesday, March 6, from 4pm-6pm, or on Thursday, March 7, between noon and 2pm.

The Talking Shop will then be open to drop in every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11am-4pm at 12-14 Church Street.

Councillor Kevin Cranney, chair of Hartlepool Borough Council’s Regeneration Services Committee, said: “It’s absolutely fantastic this new pop-up shop is opening its doors here in Hartlepool. 

“As a council, we are working hard to develop the Church Street area into a vibrant Innovation and Skills Quarter, so this is a particularly welcome development. 

“I’d encourage people to pop in for conversation with other creative people to talk about art and culture in Hartlepool.”

In October, volunteers helped to record buildings in the Church Street Conservation Area in the townscape project.

And a number of engraved granite stones carrying adverts and posters promoting Church Street businesses from the 1850s to the Second World War have been installed as part of the Church Street regeneration project.