VOLUNTEERS are helping to breathe new life into two unoccupied town centre premises by preparing them for community use.
Filling empty shops was one of five key aims drawn up by the Tiverton Town Team which was formed following the town's successful bid to become a Portas Pilot town.
Two premises are now set to re-open and act as a showcase for local craftspeople and for information about the town and plans to revitalise the high street.
This Saturday, the Mayor of Tiverton, Cllr Janet Rendle, will officially open a Portas team-endorsed 'artisans arcade' shop, in what was previously home to the Julian Graves store, in Fore Street.
It had been closed for 14 months, but a group of volunteers recently stepped in to smarten up the shop in preparation for it re-opening as a home for a variety of small business ventures, particularly relating to arts and crafts.
Next to re-open will be the former Four in Hand pub, in Fore Street, which will also be used as a "pop-up" shop by the town team.
Staff from the McDonald's restaurant in Tiverton donated their time last week to clear out the old pub, assisted by staff from the Tivoli cinema.
Sue Griggs, the chairwoman of the town team, said that she was grateful to McDonalad's manager Kane Sawyer and his team for their support.
She added: "They are very keen to work with our community projects and offered to help with the Portas projects. They did an excellent job and were so keen to help."
Other local businesses have also been getting involved in ways of helping promote the town's regeneration.
Tiverton-based design company Shake Creative has helped to devise a new Tiverton website, working in conjunction with the Tiverton Trade Association, and it is set to be launched this week.
Last July, Tiverton was awarded £100,000 under the scheme fronted by TV retail advisor Mary Portas to serve as a 'pilot' town implementing a range of ideas to help to bring more shoppers back into British high streets
The scheme has received criticism since its start for failing to deliver results in the 27 towns which are participating.