It’s a wrap for town’s empty buildings

Gullfight on Victoria St' - Gully versus Colin Brown
Gullfight on Victoria St' - Gully versus Colin Brown

Two large, empty buildings in Morecambe have been “wrapped” to help brighten up the area.

Morecambe Business Improvement District (BID) has vinyl wrapped Hitchens Building on the promenade, and the John Gallagher unit on the corner of Euston Road and Market Street.

Last year Morecambe BID commissioned photographer Johnny Bean with a brief to “bring the essence of the business out” without resorting to ‘shoot and scoot’ photography. BID said the intention was to highlight the independence, quirkiness and individuality of Morecambe’s business offer whilst producing a fun and light-hearted campaign.

It is also the first time that the new slogan “Eden of the North” has been displayed in public. The slogan is an updated version of the old tagline “Naples of the North” and draws a connection to our past as a premier resort, and the future as the host of only the second Eden project in the UK, and Europe.

John O’Neill, Morecambe BID manager said: “We wanted a different campaign, one that would bring the essence of the businesses out without resorting to the ‘butcher with a plate of sausages’ shot. Johnny managed to capture the essence of the brief very well and there is a fun element involved as well.

“Every shot features a gull, not as obvious in some as in others, and there’s a quirkiness about it. In ‘Gullfight on Victoria St’, Gully, our webcam sensation, is seen packing a six-shooter while facing down Colin Brown, who’s only armed with a blow dryer. Gully has gone on to become a More-Cam celebrity by constantly hogging one of the recently installed webcams at”

Photographer Johnny Bean said: “John at Morecambe BID and I discussed the shoot, and from the off, we both knew we wanted something creative, quite quirky and unlike a normal business/town centre promotion, something that reflected the unique, independent flavour of Morecambe, playful and uplifting but also eye-grabbing so it would attract attention. The seagulls were a nice hook to tie the set of images together. It’s pretty unusual to be given that kind of free creative reign on a project such as this, so I have great respect for the fact that Morecambe BID was happy to give me that freedom, and for the individual business owner’s too, who listened to my crazy ideas and all said yes!”

As well as the iconic photography, some of the panels summarise the campaign: “Morecambe with its spectacular bay, wide open skies and whirling seabirds is preparing for a new tomorrow. Culture is at the heart of it and the pace is gathering.

“New shops and cafes are replacing the jaded has been interwoven at every step, TV crews are arriving, the Eden Project is on its way and the eyes of the world are upon us.”

Mal Garnett, Managing Director, Apparatus said: “As creative director for the campaign, the decision was easy to feature Morecambe people as the heroes of the town, beautifully captured by Morecambe photographer Johnny Bean. Morecambe isn’t your usual seaside town, the people who live and work here are the essence of this place; fun, quirky and all individual. The campaign celebrates our differences, the people and the true hidden vibrancy of this part of the world. Watch out, things can only get better.”