Around this time last year, I found out about a new initiative from the council to clean up the store front shutters of the old town by offering a clean up and maintenance sevice through authorised companies/partners. At the time, I remember thinking that it looked to be a money spinner for the companies involved but also agreed that it was a good initiative by the council to "clean up" some of the streets.
Well, it appears that since the invitiation to the 32,000 vendors in the old town has gone out, the council has increased the help offering now a 50% payment towards the initial cost and another 50% for the maintenance, instead of the 25% originally offered. This works out at 36 Euros per square metre, or a minimum of 200 Euros with a cost of 250 Euros per year for maintenance. So that's 450 Euros for the first two years only. And you have a choice of different shades of grey by all accounts.
Now, it's just a thought, but given some of the fantastic graffiti in and around the old town, which I've blogged about a few times before, which do you think makes a potential customer remember your shop more? A drab grey shutter, or a fantastic, modern artwork that makes your shop stick out from the rest? I know what I'd do - for 450 Euros, I'd get those geniuses at axecolours to pass by my shop and give me a few ideas!! There's already an unsaid rule between artists who graffiti not to ruin another artists work with scrawls or tags, and not to paint over (the Michael Jackson one in the link above is still there and has not been touched in 6 months). It's a clever piece of marketing if you ask me, and I know I always remember those shutters and shops with the graffiti when walking around the old town on a Sunday, for example. The one in today's photos is for a scuba diving shop close to me, and to be perfectly honest, I can't even remember what the shutters were like before the current graffiti was added and I walk past it about 3 or 4 times a day - so it just goes to show the impact it can have. What do you think? I'd be interested to hear in the comments if this kind of thing is a positive change or if people would prefer uniformity around the streets? Let me know.
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