HUNDREDS of people descended on a former fashion store for an innovative arts initiative.

The one-time Beales premises in Keighley's Airedale Shopping Centre were transformed into the Mega Drawing Box.

Arts charity Keighley Creative spearheaded the event.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Youngsters have fun with the Bradford BellesYoungsters have fun with the Bradford Belles (Image: Bob Smith)

Artists from across the area were commissioned to demonstrate live art on an eight-metres-square drawing box inside the premises, and members of the public were invited to join them to make their own mark.

Also, professionals from Mobius Dance performed, together with young people from Carlton Academy in Keighley and Elite Dance and Cheer.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Walter Dowsland, ten, at the eventWalter Dowsland, ten, at the event (Image: Bob Smith)

The Bradford Belles entertained too, and 'art doctors' prescribed creative activities to the crowds.

Keighley Creative director, Gemma Hobbs, said the event was a huge success.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Welcome to Keighley by Jenna GreenwoodWelcome to Keighley by Jenna Greenwood (Image: Bob Smith)

She added: "We need leisure activities and entertainment in our town centre, as it gives us a reason to come together, and creative pursuits have a lot to offer.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: A visitor makes her markA visitor makes her mark (Image: Bob Smith)

"This, coupled with local independent business growth, is the future of Keighley’s high street, bringing the town centre back to life and benefitting the community."

Airedale Shopping Centre manager, Steve Seymour, says: "The centre was only too happy to support the event, and having worked with Keighley Creative on a number of other projects I was confident this would be another great weekend.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: A young visitor joins in the activities A young visitor joins in the activities (Image: Bob Smith)

"The centre saw a ten per cent-plus month-on-month increase in footfall over this weekend, which could only be down to the event, and having seen the social media and Facebook comments and posts it is clear everyone had a great time. There was a real buzz in the centre."

The idea for the venture followed on from Drawing Box, an activity developed by Keighley Creative and locally-based artist Naseem Darbey, which was posted out to people during lockdown.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The Keighley Creative teamThe Keighley Creative team (Image: Bob Smith)

Its Mega follow-up was the first event from the Keighley Creative Presents scheme, which is an alternative to the town's arts and film festival and will feature more activities over the next year.

Sponsorship was provided by full-fibre-broadband firm brsk, with funding also coming from Bradford Council, Keighley Towns Fund and the Marsh Charitable Trust.

Brsk spokesperson Ross Hardaker, who attended the event with colleagues, said: "We had an incredible time connecting with individuals of all ages. This project was truly brilliant and the feedback we received was outstanding. We're looking forward to partnering up for future events in Keighley and the surrounding areas."

People can follow Keighley Creative Presents on social media.