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‘High Street’ exhibition coming to Crieff

Crieff Community Trust Steering Group is excited to be bringing an award-winning national exhibition to Crieff this October! Architecture and Design Scotland’s ‘High Street’ exhibition explores the past, present and future of Scotland’s High Street. The funding for hosting the exhibition has been generously donated by the Gannochy Trust and supported by Perth & Kinross Heritage Trust. The Steering Group also owes a huge debt to Muthill resident Dr Lindsay Lennie, who runs Historic Shopfront Conservation – a consultancy specialising in providing advice on traditional retail buildings – for all her hard work assisting the trust in their endeavour.

Lindsay Lennie, author of ‘Scotland’s Shops’ said, “I was involved in research for the High Street exhibition that ran at Architecture and Design Scotland in Glasgow at the start of this year. I felt it would be a tremendous opportunity to bring such a wonderful exhibition to Crieff. The residents of Crieff are proud of their town but also aware that its centre faces many challenges. This exhibition gives an opportunity to find out more and to debate the future of Crieff town centre. We are very grateful to Gannochy Trust for assisting with the funding so that Crieff can take advantage of this unique opportunity.”

The Trust is noticing a great momentum in Crieff just now with the very successful Celebrate Crieff exhibition and the historic Crieff Community Action Plan Open Day where residents came out to vote for the priorities for the town’s 2013-2018 Action Plan. The hosting of the High Street exhibition builds on that momentum and is a great chance for Crieff residents to have a national exhibition on their doorstep.

The exhibition explores how the current fabric of our towns and cities still strongly reflects the traditional High Street of markets, places of commerce and social exchange. The exhibition also looks at how the architecture and design of our streets have changed over the years responding to developments in technology and the retail expectations of shoppers.

Before the High Street exhibition opens its doors to the public Lindsay Lennie and the CCT’s Ailsa Campbell are working with the Living Communities 2012 project, an ambitious project supporting schools to deliver cultural events. Lindsay Lennie will be working with the Living Communities project staff to help children in local schools find out more about the history of Crieff High Street and understand the issues facing town centres.

Special activities related to the High Street exhibition also include a town trail. Ailsa, a professional graphic designer has been designing special posters which will lead people around the centre of Crieff finding out more about the special social and architectural history of the shops.

The High Street exhibition was originally on show at Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture: The Lighthouse, Glasgow, at the start of 2012 and received a great feedback from its visitors:

“I think that it’s a great subject to raise. I think that there should be more to do other than shopping and eating. Not just museums, but somewhere that is a social hub to meet new friendly people.”

“A very intelligent, stimulating exhibition. It deserves wide recognition. I hope it is truly influential. Very thought provoking. Not so much a traditional exhibition as a research thesis – but so much better presented than those normally are!”

“A good exhibition. Really shows what a difference has happened through the years and how some simple ideas and some community spirit can reclaim and re-emerge the towns and cities we live in and halt the general decline in interesting shops and places to hang out in.”

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