Students help Council in Portas cash bid
Farnham Town Council has turned to students from the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) in its bid to win £100,000 of funding to help rejuvenate its High Streets.
The Council is applying for a share of the government's 'High Streets Innovation Fund' which was set up in response to a review by retail expert Mary 'Queen of Shops' Portas, last year.
As part of the bid, Farnham Town Council asked UCA's film department for help in making a short film about the town. BA (Hons) Film Production students Sophie Rostant, Sophie Barber-Cheverall, Roxy Ibbetson, Alex Kerr, and Sara Evans took up the challenge.
Student film producer, Sara Evans, said: "The Portas video has been a great experience for all of us.
"We found out lots about Farnham that we didn't know before, for example we didn't quite realise how much craft history the town has, so we focused on some of these unique characteristics in our film."
Editor, Roxanne Ibbetson, said: "We wanted to show that shopping in Farnham can be an experience.
"Rather than just coming into town to get a few things, you might actually spend the day here - there could be artists and craftspeople working in shop windows and venues around the town, and you could buy things that you have seen being made."
More than 350 towns are expected to apply for the Portas project but only 12 will win receive an award of up to £100,000.
The four minute video focuses on the fact that despite Farnham being a comparatively wealthy town, its high street has still been affected by issues such as the current economic climate, internet shopping and out of town developments.
Cllr Carole Cockburn, Farnham Town Council, said: "We are thrilled with the video that the students have produced and with their attitude and commitment to the project - they were professional from the outset.
"We couldn't be more pleased. If they are typical of UCA graduates, the institution deserves fulsome praise. I will stand up in any forum and celebrate the talent and charm of the students concerned."
Film Production Course Leader at UCA Farnham, Claire Barwell, said: "I was delighted that Farnham Town Council contacted us to help them with their bid for the Mary Portas retail award.
"The student team who responded to the call have produced a very professional piece in response to the brief and this gives them good experience for working on future commissions."
The film was officially presented to Farnham Town Council on 28 June. It was uploaded to YouTube the following day where it will be judged. Winners will be announced later in the year.
For more information contact:
David Reilly, Press Officer, UCA
T: 01252 892939