CREATIVE Arts students from Havering College are taking the lead in the transformation of a Romford landmark, The Quadrant shopping arcade.
Students and graduates from the college's BA Honours Graphic Design course are heading up teams of creative arts students working with independent businesses within the arcade in Romford Market Place.
Romford Contemporary Arts Programme (RCAP), Havering College, Havering
Sixth Form College and Redbridge College have come together in a bid to revolutionise the 1930's shopping arcade.
The Arcade Remade project – believed to be the first of its kind in the country – is supported by creative arts lecturers from Havering College and a number of its graduates.
Local arts organisation RCAP has taken over the shopping centre for a year with the aim of transforming it into the new creative hub of the town.
An arcade re-brand, a variety of new creative start-up businesses and a creative residency programme have kick started the exciting changes.
The Quadrant is set to undergo further rejuvenation in the coming weeks. Working with nine independent businesses within the shopping arcade, the creative students have teamed up with existing tenants, working together to re-brand, promote and develop each business. The transformational projects range from the entire re-branding of Meat Express, to the re-naming of the Seahorse Fish Bar and the launch of the Synergy Media gallery, the first in Romford town centre.
RCAP creative programme manager Sarah Walters said: "The main thing we identified with The Quadrant is that people use it as a cut through rather than a destination. With regards to the rebranding we are trying to create a feeling of a destination."
Havering College BA Honours Graphic Design graduate Stephen Timms, has returned to his roots to lend his creative talents to the project.
Having branded for companies such as Fox's and McCain since graduating, Stephen said: "I think Arcade Remade is a fantastic opportunity to inject some creativity into the local area, using local talented people. I am too excited for words."
Delighted to be a part of Arcade Remade, The Vault owner Lauren Martin said: "It's fantastic to be working so closely with the college students. They bring a fresh perspective to the arcade, helping to improve their community and the lives and businesses of people working here and using it."
Havering College curriculum manager for HE Graphic Design, Tony Branch said: "Arcade Remade is a good learning curve for the students, giving them real experience. It is testing the students on a number of levels. They are having to present their ideas to the businesses and are gaining good transferable skills. With financial factors involved in rebranding they are having to negotiate details."
For more information on the Arcade Remade project see https://www.facebook.com/quadrantarcade