Artists and makers from the Banbury area are offering Christmas shoppers the chance to bag unique cards and gifts at a festive pop-up.
Art and design students from Banbury and Bicester College are taking over an empty unit in Parsons Street in the run up to Christmas.
The pop-up shop, which has most recently been home to Kt-Lu’s Fashion Boutique, will sell handmade gifts, cards, prints and homewares, from Thursday 8 December until Wednesday 14 December.
The shop forms part of a wider arts festival, incorporating an art-inspired bake sale and community knitting evening, which also aims to raise money for Banbury Young Homeless Project (BYHP). The project is being led by degree level art and design students, supported by further education students.
Louise Williams, who leads the BA (Hons) Creative Arts and Design Practice programme at Banbury and Bicester College, said: “The Christmas pop-up shop is part of an ongoing community arts initiative, operating under the banner of ‘We’re Here Now’. This is giving our students the opportunity to develop entrepreneurial skills while showcasing their work to a larger, local audience. At the same time, the initiative aims to energise our town centre by increasing its cultural diversity and offer local people opportunities to engage in the arts.
“We have recently installed a Christmas-inspired shop window at the former Moss Bros in High Street and will be selling the model houses at the centre of this display to raise money for Banbury’s young homeless. We look forward to seeing former and new customers over the coming days and helping to raise money through the arts.”
The partnership between Banbury and Bicester College and the town centre team, which has seen empty units used for exhibitions, pop-up shops and art workshops, has helped Banbury reach the finals of the Great British High Street Competition 2016. The winners will be announced on 12 December.
The Christmas shop, at 38 Parsons Street, will open daily (except for Sundays) between 9.30am and 5pm, from 8 December until 14 December.