What do you do with an Empty Tesco Store in Street, Somerset? Create a Space Art Project

Planners have made some horrendous decisions over the years.  One of those big mistakes I feel was to allow Tesco to build a new store in Glastonbury and let the one on the High Street in Street, Somerset  close down.  When the planning was granted for the new Tesco in Glastonbury there were protests by the local Glastonbury community.  It was felt by many that we had enough supermarkets already and that it would hurt the local High Street economy.  It also would be in direct sight of the Glastonbury Tor.

But planning was granted and security moved in to get rid of the protesters.

 Tesco made a promise to the community to not close the other Tesco shop on the High Street in Street.

Builders arrived and the new Tesco Glastonbury was built.

Here at Middlewick we accommodated some of the project managers.  On their final day with us when they were saying goodbye they told us how sad they had felt being involved with the Glastonbury Tesco.  In all their years of putting up supermarkets, this was the one that made them feel terrible about what they did.   Glastonbury  was beautiful and they hated that the store with its luminous sign was now in eyesight of the iconic Glastonbury Tor.   The locals didn’t seem to want it and it felt wrong.

Tesco opened as planned and then no surprise Tesco in Street closed down a couple of years later.

The Tesco supermarket in Street had been an anchor shop in the shopping mall so when it went so did most of the other stores.   Not only had the town lost its only High Street supermarket, all the little vibrant shops in the shopping mall lost their passing trade.   So now the shopping mall is full of charity  and discount shops with the nearest supermarket only accessible by car.

The Tesco sits abandoned.

But last year something wonderful and surprising happened.

A man named Dylan Thomas made some enquiries about using the space and was offered the derelict building to create a pop-up gallery and collaborative space.

CREATE:SPACE II  was born and it is open to art collaborators from every part of the community.

An abandoned supermarket became a hub of expression and creativity.  Local Artists were invited to come along to exhibit for free.

The public are encouraged to support and purchase local art at affordable prices.   Head down and support the local artists, to date over 150 have exhibited in the space.

Easy to find location – the old Tesco on the High Street in Street.

Open daily from 11am – 4pm until May 7th, 2019.

For up to date information, the best place to look is the public Facebook group “CREATE:SPACE II”, or any prospective artists should get in touch with Dylan Thomas on 07856 683 703 or diz@streetharvest.org.uk, or pop into the gallery and ask to speak to Dylan or Sandra Brant.