Virtual High Street Fools No One Unless You’re From Redcar


Due to the economic downturn across the country towns have had to resort to using 3D facades in high streets in order to hide dozens of empty shops.

As a result shoppers are getting a vision of the future in one town – and are walking in a ‘virtual’ world. The fake facades have been put up in 18 shops in Redcar high street alone – along with one ‘virtual’ house.

The images disguise parts of the street, giving the impression units are occupied, which otherwise would be riddled with boards and shutters.

There is a virtual restaurant, cafe, furniture, bookshop, gift shop, two fashion stores, electrical goods and accessories shop to fill the gaps as the recession continues to bite.

The seaside town has been hit hard by the downturn and the loss of 1,600 jobs at the Corus steelworks was a major blow, but council bosses hope to improve the look of the town’s high street and attract new businesses through the use of the clever images.

There is even a splendid ‘virtual house’ near the sea front on the Esplanade, complete with plush sofa, grand fireplace and ornamental vases. And another house in the area has a virtual Paedophile in its windows in order to scare local youth’s from wrecking the property.

Mandy O’Brien a 43 year-old mother of three was shocked at how realistic the images are.

“I must admit I was shocked to find I couldn’t get in to Greggs the Bakers last week due to the realistic virtual image on what I soon realized was an empty shop. I wouldn’t mind I was gagging for a cheese and onion pasty at the time. Imagine how stupid I looked when I kicked the door down in a fit of rage only to find an abandoned shop inside.”

The coalition government has welcomed the idea and has plans to use a similar scheme at all civil servant offices across the country once the axe has fallen on the number of staff employed there. However, John Young an unemployed father of two from Tyneside confirmed he had seen something similarly used before.

“Yes it was when I happened to walk in to the local Liberal Democrats Office two weeks ago. Outside it had photos of beaming people in the window of their building but when I walked in through the front door the building was as empty as their election promises.


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