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Preston city centre mobile event tent ready to open

Posted on - 15th April, 2022 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Business, City Centre, Preston City Centre, Preston Council, Preston News, What's On in Preston
A visual of how The MET will look. Copyright: Charlie MacKeith RDA 2021

In a bid to encourage people back into central Preston and supporting local businesses, an interactive Mobile Event Tent (The MET) will be opened on Saturday, 14th May.

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It will be situated at the former Indoor Market site from the end of April and will offer a full and free programme of creative events for the community, kicking off with a powerful storytelling event, reflecting on Preston residents’ experiences over the last 18 months of the pandemic.

It is being funded from £1 million of initial funding secured from the government’s Towns Fund, for a series of ‘Pop-up’ regeneration projects in the Harris Quarter. 

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The city received a total of £20.9 million from the Towns Fund in March 2021, to support its wider Harris Quarter Investment Programme.

The contemporary structure of The MET has been designed and developed in Preston, in partnership with architect Charlie Mackeith of Research Design, and Professor Charles Quick of In Certain Places, UCLan. 

The interior walls have been decorated by artist Jenny Steele, who was commissioned to work with Preston City’s different cultural groups.

The design is made from specially adapted shipping containers, a state-of-the-art fabric cover, and other materials to create an inspiring 150 square metre space capable of accommodating up to 100 people.

The MET will play a key role in encouraging people back into the city centre, generating economic activity, and providing work for local artists.

After the summer, it is expected that The Met will move on to various other locations across Preston to host community, networking, arts and music events.

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Chris Hayward, director of development at Preston City Council, said: “It’s a great opportunity to be able to host a diverse city centre events programme, especially while the Harris Museum is undergoing much-needed renovations.

“The interactive and unique space that The Met will provide for residents, will be an excellent boost for the city and as part of the Towns Fund and Preston City Investment Plan.”

John Chesworth, executive chairman of Harrison Drury Solicitors and Chair of the Preston Towns Fund Board said: “The Pop-Ups programme is just the start of what will be a sustained programme of investment in the city centre using the Towns Fund money we’ve secured.

“We’re incredibly excited to unveil these plans for The MET which will provide a truly unique event space for arts, culture, and other events including theatre, live music, business conferences, exhibitions and community events.

“The MET will be a valuable asset in attracting people to our City and helping boost the economy.”

Other MET events listed for May 2022 are:

Saturday 14 May – Eventbrite – All Together But Different, 7pm – 10pm. An immersive performance tells the story of the people of Preston over the last 18 months.

Saturday 21 May – Andrew Newcombe: Vision 25-C, 7pm – 10pm. A drop-in to The MET for an interactive sound installation with Andrew Newcombe.

Saturday 28 May – Eventbrite – Under Wonderland, 2pm, 4.30pm, 7pm (40 minute performances). Through the Looking Glass has been cleverly re-imagined in an explosion of Funk for the family. The story is told through a thrilling fusion of Hip Hop music and Urban Dance.

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Saturday 28 May – An Introduction to the Do’s & Don’ts of Street Art, 12pm – 4pm, Up-cycle your very own spray can to take home with you. This workshop gives spray cans a new lease of life.  All instructors are fully DBS Checked and operate as drop-in. 

Saturday 28 May – Get Funky Learn New Dance Skills & How to Streetdance, 12pm – 4pm. Feel the beat and get moving at these Street/Breakdance workshops delivered by experienced tutors and the cast of Under Wonderland.

Workshops will be taking place throughout the day to members of the public wanting to try their hand at some basic dance movements. All instructors are fully DBS Checked and operate as drop-in. 

Saturday 28 May – Skateboard Sessions drop-in, 12pm – 4pm. Wingz Skate team are offering sessions throughout the day for anyone who would like to give some basic skating a go.

There will be five members of staff on the day delivering these sessions, complete with safety equipment, boards etc. All instructors are fully DBS Checked and operate as drop-in.



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Will these events get you back into Preston city centre? Let us know in the comments.

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