“Ugly” To Let signs are being removed from empty shops in Perth city centre to make it look more attractive for visitors to the new Perth Museum.
Perth and Kinross Council is working with letting agents to replace the signs with QR codes.
Professional artists are also being employed to transform the windows of vacant shops into promotions for the £27 million museum.
The Courier reported in September that Perth artist Jaz Grady had started work on the project in St John Street.
Councillors were informed of the moves in a report updating them on the planned opening of the new museum on the 2024 Easter weekend.
Culture bosses say the venue will breathe new life into Perth city centre.
However, many locals are concerned not enough is being done to reduce the large number of empty shops on the high street and elsewhere. It follows the loss of a large number of high-profile traders in recent years.
Signs on empty Perth shops are ‘ugly intrusion’
The report by the council’s head of culture and community services Fiona Robertson said: “Teams within Perth and Kinross Council have been working together and with professional artists to make Perth city centre look more appealing.”
She said the window dressings were advertising elements of Perth Museum and helping to prevent fly-posting on empty shops.
Ms Robertson added: “We are working with letting agents to remove the ‘To Let’ signs on the high street and replace them with QR codes which will give potential retailers the relevant information.”
Perth City Centre Liberal Democrat councillor Peter Barrett welcomed the moves.
He said: “I am glad that the opening of the Perth Museum is giving added impetus to the moves to get rid of ugly ‘For Sale’ and ‘To Let’ signs.
“These are an unnecessary and ugly intrusion into our city centre streetscapes.
“I doubt whether the signs are really an effective or value for money marketing tool. Window vinyls with QR codes would be a vast improvement.”
Perth empty shops a sign of the times
Depute Provost Andrew Parrott said: “It is disappointing that we have empty properties in Perth city centre. But it is a reflection of internet shopping and the difficult economic times that we find ourselves in.
“The council is doing all that it can to encourage businesses to come to Perth.”
Mr Parrott, who is Perth city centre ward councillor, said the measures being encouraged would minimise the impact of empty shops on Perth streets in the meantime.
“We know from engagement that has already taken place that many tour operators are looking to put Perth Museum and the Stone of Destiny here on their tour programmes.”
The report went before the council’s environment, infrastructure and economic development committee, which is convened by Mr Parrott.