Market Town was a programme of commissions and critical debate that focussed on the regeneration of the high street in Loughborough. As a pilot town in which the findings of the Portas Review are being tested, and with a University that is a leading centre for research into the future of retail, Loughborough was the ideal place to develop a series of commissions that would act as a form of action research. These commissions investigated the potential of artists, architects, designers and other creative professionals to develop work that reimagined the town as a destination for “socialising, culture, health, wellbeing, creativity and learning’” (the Portas Review), whilst seeking new ways to rethink and activate local economies. The overall aim was to use Loughborough as a case study to examine how we can redefine the role of the town centre to help ensure its long term future.
Through a parallel programme of workshops and talks, which began with a Think Tank event in January 2015, this project was committed to activating debate on key issues facing the town.