A VACANT city centre premises has been given a colourful new lease of life as shoppers return.

The former Argos unit on Southampton’s High Street is just one of the city’s buildings to receive a new window vinyl in an effort to bring businesses back to the area.

The initiative comes as it is revealed that dozens of businesses have moved in or will be making Southampton their home in the near future.

As many as 20 businesses have opened their doors already or are set to open and now returning shoppers and visitors are being greeted with bright new shop fronts and eye-catching windows as the city centre lays on a colourful welcome display.

Unveiling the artwork at the former Argos store was Cllr Satvir Kaur, cabinet member for culture & homes and chairman of Southampton 2025 Trust, Claire Whitaker OBE, Southampton 2025 UK City of Culture bid director and Adrian Wallace from property development and investment company MHA London.

Daily Echo: Former Argos unit on High Street gets new lease of life with colourful vinyl design.

Adrian Wallace, MHA London, chief executive officer said: “Buildings are more likely to attract new tenants especially if units have been vacant for a long time – as was the case for the former Argos store on High Street – if something proactive is done to positively increase their profile.

“Installing building artwork or a vinyl helps draw the eye to the site and therefore attracts more shoppers.”

Claire Whitaker added: “Incorporating art into the public realm is a great way to showcase culture through our community.”

The project has been co-funded by GO! Southampton, the city’s business improvement district and city partner for the City of Culture bid 2025, and MHA London.

Giles Semper, executive director at Go! Southampton added: “We need businesses to occupy our buildings.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has been hard for the arts and culture sector and in our efforts towards Southampton’s bid for UK City of Culture, we wanted to do something that would work well to support our local artists and the businesses.”