THE WINDOW of an empty town-centre shop has been brightened up with artwork by Keighley girls.

The teenagers have created an exhibition for the Creative Space at the former Sunwin House and Home store on Hanover Street.

The work of the girls from the E5 girls’ empowerment programme can be seen alongside art pieces by professional artists who have studios and workshops in the building.

The 13 and 14-year-old girls, together known as the Leadership Squad, have worked with local artists to design and make fabric banners and wreaths around the theme of spring.

Professionals from the Intercultural Communication and Leadership School (ICLS) have worked on the project with the Leadership Squad.

The exhibition will be in the windows on Hanover Street until Easter.

ICLS project manager Sophie Powell said: “I met members of the group whilst running an empowerment programme with them at school.

“They were keen to get involved in community projects outside of school so we approached Jane Howie at Keighley Creative Space to ask about putting on an exhibition.

“They worked really hard to get the work together so quickly and we had brilliant support from local artist Jane Sedgwick and Sam Atkins at Small World, who ran sessions for us.”

Leadership Squad took the theme of springtime for their work, creating hand-dyed fabric, and decorating with printing blocks they designed and made themselves.

Jane Sedgwick ran a workshop in willow weaving, and several wreaths were made, decorated with fabric and paper flowers.

Sophie said the young people greatly enjoyed the processes involved in making the prints, and said they had a fun experience.

One said: “To accomplish something like this feels like I’ve grown in myself.”

The Leadership Squad more recently begun work on a project to celebrate International Women’s Day, which is on Friday, March 8.

ICLS is an organisation that seeks to contribute to reducing and resolving tensions and conflicts between communities, locally and internationally.

It is a partner in the E5 Keighley Women and Girls project, which aims to empower women to make positive choices for themselves and their community.

Keighley Creative Space is holding an open day on Thursday, March 7.

Creative Space is based on former Sunwin House and Home Store which housed electrical, furniture and homeware departments as well as a café.

The building now provides facilities for local artists to each have their own workshop and studio facilities to create work in a variety of media, and put them on display.

Last year the Arts Minister, Michael Ellis, visited Creative Space for the launch of the Window On the World, a campaign to win funding for a planned £300,000 arts and film festival in Keighley.

At the time, Mr Ellis said Creative Space offered an ideal environment for creative thinking by local artists, which in turn could help boost the local economy.

He said: “You have the right location to bring together many different disciplines working under the same roof, and they can bounce ideas off each other.”