Latest Shopjacket™ News


Shop wraps show possibilities for Bishop Auckland, Durham County Council News, 7 Aug 15

Businesses wanting to join in the exciting opportunities coming to Bishop Auckland can have a glimpse of the future at two premises in the town centre.

From left to right, Paul Murphy from Shop Jacket, Alan Anderson from the Bishop Auckland Town Team, Ann Cooper of Auckland Castle Trust, Mayor of Bishop Auckland Cllr Lee Brownson and our Cabinet member for economic regeneration Cllr Neil Foster.

A vacant shop and a development site on Newgate Street have been covered with 'shop wraps' to show potential owners what they could look like. One has been made to look like a florist's with the other an art gallery which will feature regularly updated images from the Auckland Castle Trust's range of exciting projects for the area.

The project, which we've funded, is a result of the partnership work between ourselves, the town council, Auckland Castle Trust and the Bishop Auckland Town Team to continue the regeneration of the town.

Cllr Neil Foster, our Cabinet member for economic regeneration and culture, said: "The shop wraps are the latest in our ongoing partnership work to transform Bishop Auckland. The wraps improve the look of the whole street and will hopefully encourage even more new businesses to come to the town by really showing potential owners what they could look like."

Exciting developments

Ann Cooper, head of communications for Auckland Castle Trust, said: "As well as improving the look of an empty town centre property it also means we can keep local residents up to date with all the exciting developments as the projects move forward. We'll be changing the panels in the gallery every three or four months so keep looking to see the latest pictures and news."

The project is one of a number of schemes designed to improve the town centre and encourage and support local businesses. Durham County Council is also offering businesses in the area investment funding of up to £10,000 to contribute towards projects to improve premises. 

Recent figures reveal that the number of empty retail units fell by 14 in the last 12 months in Bishop Auckland's main shopping areas.

Forthcoming events can be advertised within the frames, and changed when required.


Whitley Bay firm helps to boost high streets with creative shop front designs, Chronicle Live 11 May 2015


Long term empty

A North East firm is helping to revitalise high streets with its innovative shop front designs.

Shopjacket, based in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, creates displays that make empty or rundown properties look more attractive and prevent sites from becoming eyesores.

This in turn helps to boost marketing efforts and brings vacant buildings back into use.

The group also works with existing shops to improve their appearance.

The company has been working on projects with local authorities and organisations in the North East as well as other parts of the country.


And the team, which includes owner Paul Murphy and designer Jo Atkinson, has received calls from America and the Middle East. They also carry out consultancy work.

Mr Murphy, 53, of Whitley Bay, said: “We have been working in North Tyneside, County Durham, Glasgow, Dundee, Edinburgh, South Wales, Northern Ireland and Amsterdam. We are also getting calls from Ohio.

“This is not just about making shops look attractive - it is about making real changes on the High Street and inspiring people.

“One of our clients had a property on the market for around three years and they had received no calls about it. We went along and put a friendly message on the front and made the site look better. After we completed the work, they had two calls within days and the property was let within two months.”

In Whitley Bay, Shopjacket created temporary designs for the outside of the Spanish City Dome. The building’s first floor windows were covered by panels portraying curtains and chandeliers. And the ground floor hoardings beside the entrance showed a contemporary dining area.

In addition, a further six large images were created in the style of historic railway posters. They showed key locations along North Tyneside’s coastline including North Shields Fish Quay, Tynemouth Priory, Cullercoats Bay, Tynemouth Longsands, Spanish City Dome and St Mary’s Lighthouse.

Other empty properties in North Shields and Whitley Bay were also revamped with the company’s designs.

Mr Murphy said: “The idea is to look deeper into what the problems on the High Street are and help deal with the underlying issues, bringing vibrancy and a sense of pride back.

“For example, shops are often not open at the right times when the majority of the people are shopping.

“It is no good offering loyalty schemes or apps because it will not make a difference. We have to go back to basics and get the service right.

“We have to look at what is needed to get people through the door.

“And we are passionate about delivering real change.”

From Shopjacket treatment... vibrant businesses on the high street.



The Wool Tree, Bedlington May 2015

Shopjacket helps with colours, brand and signage. Looking great so far, window display to tackle next! 


Shopjacket helps a great new offer in Bedlington, Apr 15

This shop is currently being transformed into a unique new offer for the high street in Bedlington. The "Wool Tree" is going to make knitting trendy again! Opening 5th May, good luck!!



More Shopjacket Shop Front Transformations, Apr 15

8 x shops in Stanley are getting some much needed TLC this week by Shopjacket "Shop Front Transformations" for Stanley Area Action Partnership...


Dominic and Mark are working hard to get these transformations done!