Wednesday, 20 June 2012
As a new resident to the Folkestone Creative Quarter, I thought it might be worth writing down some first impressions. Roger de Haan's money is battling to do good work but needs some help. A community is more than just renovated buildings. It needs a spirit. At the moment, it's the spirit that needs to grow in the CQ. There is an interesting mix of businesses and people in the area. But there's a feeling of defeat rather than energy. There's also a lot of debris, broken bottles in the back streets and drug paraphenalia. The council who are paid to clean up the mess should be holding up their end of the bargain. Drugs and dealers aren't pretty but they add a degree of edginess that makes the place more interesting. Obviously, business owners are worried about crime - that the inevitable consequence of drugs isn't it? It might be. It might not. Let's not create a problem that doesn't exist yet. The problem that does exist is apathy. There are some genuinely ambitious businesses trying to make a go of it. It behoves us all in the region to support our neighbours. Get a coffee from the Polish cafe. Go for a drink after work in the local bar. If we don't support each other, how can we expect those from farther afield to? It feels like the Creative Quarter is on the cusp of something positive. This could be a real success - but that will only happen with our energy. If we want to get something out of this project. We need to put something in.