Our shopping centre, perhaps unfortunately, is not council owned, it’s privately owned and run, and space in the concourse IS available to rent by the day, or the week, but at a price. Tables and chairs can be included, but there are rules about things like public liability insurance, and all of it comes at a price.
My idea – the whole attraction of that particular area – is of a free space, where people passing by, or in time, there for that very purpose, can simply drop-in, and draw. Some days there may be nobody. Some days they may only have space to stand and rest their sketchbooks on the surrounding wall.
The important thing is that there is no commitment required, and no-one feels left out because they can’t afford to join in. The space is there, waiting, with pens and pencils and paper, and the enticement of a few minutes, or a few hours, away from the worries of their world.
It has to be free to use, but that means it has to be provided free.
In the present day environment, where success is seen in terms of how much profit can be made – particularly in the area I live, which is perceived as wealthy – how on earth can that happen?