Dewsbury Town Team’s great expectations for its Living Room project

READ FOR FREE: Members of Dewsbury Town Team collecting books to be handed out around the town tomorrow for World Book Night 2012.
READ FOR FREE: Members of Dewsbury Town Team collecting books to be handed out around the town tomorrow for World Book Night 2012.
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ARE you sitting comfortably? Dewsbury shoppers will be able to do just that next week when the Living Room comes to town.

The initiative is the first fruit of Dewsbury Town Team’s SpaceBank project and will see an empty shop in Foundry Street furnished with sofas, tables and bookshelves to create a cosy place to rest from the high street rush.

The Living Room is set to open on tomorrow morning and will be there for eight days, with shoppers welcome to sit down and chill out between 11am and 3pm.

SpaceBank is the Town Team’s drive to find alternative uses for empty retail premises, with the aim of making the town centre a more attractive and interesting place to visit.

Town Team vice-chairman Andrew Hutchinson said: “We believe this will be a good thing for the town and, at the same time, we hope it will establish the profile of the Town Team and let people know what we are doing.

“It’s going to be a low-key launch because the idea of the Living Room is as a quiet place to rest and relax, maybe read a book for a while.

“The idea of SpaceBank is also to work with landlords and show them that, by spending some money on improving empty shops, we can get them back into all kinds of uses.”

Living Room co-ordinator Anthony Whitehouse added: “The landlord Adhan has kindly agreed to a short lease on excellent terms to allow this community initiative to go ahead. The project is a comfy space where passers-by can find a quiet space to relax for a while. They can wait for a friend, sit and read a book or perhaps have their lunchtime sandwich at a table.

“Everyone will find a welcome there at no cost and will also be able to catch up on information about a range of local activities.”

The opening of the Living Room coincides with World Book Night, when Town Team members will distribute free copies of nine books by authors including Charles Dickens, David Peace, Bernard Cornwell and Sophie Kinsella.

Books will be given out tomorrow at the railway station at 5pm, the sports centre at 6pm and the West Riding Refreshment Rooms at 8pm, where a book-themed quiz will follow at 8.30pm. Among them will be copies of The Damned United signed by Ossett-born author David Peace.