CREATIVE youngsters are helping turn around the fortunes of Chard’s town centre by brightening up the windows of empty shops.

The Chard Art project aims to fill the windows with colourful artwork youngsters have designed.

Those behind the scheme say it will make the town more appealing and hope more shop owners get on board.

Project leader William Taunton-Burnett said shop owners should work together if they want to turn around the town’s shopping scene.

He added: “A few shop owners have been very supportive but otherwise take up and support for the initiative has been slow.

“I am sure it will improve as people see the artwork and realise that getting involved and making small community projects can, in a small way, help to breathe more life into the high street.”

Students came up with the idea of Chard ART following comments from shop owners and members of the public who use the town centre.

The scheme is part of the National Citizen Service which helps young people make a difference in their community.

Year 12 students from Holyrood Academy and youngsters from Chard School have so far designed boards with the first ones set to be installed in an empty unit in Holyrood Street.

Chard Town Team chairman Garry Shortland was delighted with the idea and encouraged other businesses to get involved.

He said: “It is good they have embraced the whole scheme and good they are trying to brighten up the shops.

“It creates a good atmosphere and gives people a feeling that the town centre is not dying. I am disappointed for|the youngsters that not more empty shops are willing to display their art but at least they have somewhere, which is the main thing, and reassures them that what they have done is worthwhile.”

Anyone who wants to get creative and design a board can email for more information.