He’s sold us fruit smoothies and helped aspiring entrepreneurs get their businesses underway on TV’s Be Your Own Boss.

Now Kirkheaton-born entrepreneur Richard Reed is putting great works of art on 30,000 bus shelters and billboards to inspire passersby on their way to work or the shops by flooding the streets with great British art.

Richard, who co-founded Innocent Smoothies and now invests in up-and-coming start-ups through his latest business Jamjar, is the man behind Art Everywhere – a nationwide project to bring great works of art to the streets and precincts of towns and cities around the UK.

The initiative has also been taken up in the USA – with Richard travelling to New York’s Time Square two weeks ago to see its giant advertising hoardings given over to works including Gilbert Stuart’s famous portrait of George Washington and photography by New York artist Robert Mapplethorpe.

Back in Huddersfield, Art Everywhere has taken over bus shelter poster boards in the town centre and at Fartown, Aspley and Waterloo.

Members of the public were asked to vote online for their favourite art work. Some 38,000 people responded and the 25 most popular pieces are being featured until the end of August on thousands of sites normally used to display commercial adverts.

Artists represented range from Hans Holbein, John Constable and William Blake to David Hockney, Grayson Perry and Anthony Gormley.

The project is run in conjunction with organisations including media organisations, the Art Fund and Tate.

Bridget Reed - mother of Innocent Smoothies founder Richard Reed - with Art Everywhere poster of Ben Nicholson's '1940-42 (two forms)' on Macauley Street, Huddersfield.
 

Richard’s parents David and Bridget Reed, who live at Houses Hill, attended the London launch when they met artists Grayson Perry and Anthony Gormley.

David said the idea came to Richard when he was walking to work in central London and saw a painting which cheered him up.

“He thought it would be wonderful if we had art on poster sites instead of adverts,” said David. “It’s a bit of fun. It’s a true example of businesses and non-businesses coming together to do some public good.”

Richard, who attended Batley Grammar School and Cambridge before launching Innocent and winning the Shell LiveWire Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2000, has already embarked on a new challenge.

He is part of a team, led by Sir Richard Banson’s son Sam and featuring comedian Jack Whitehall, Prof Brian Cox and tennis player Marion Bartoli. undertaking the Virgin Strive Challenge to get from London to the summit of the 14,692ft Matterhorn in the Alps between Switzerland and Italy.

The team has already run from London to Dover in three back-to-back marathons and will complete a 900km-plus cycle ride to Verbier, Switzerland, before a seven-day hike across the Alps to Zermatt where they will set out to scale the Matterhorn.

The challenge, which has Princess Beatrice as its patron, aims to raise thousands of pounds for charity The Big Change, which helps disadvantged children.

Commenting on the trek, Richard said: “I joined the Virgin Strive Challenge because I love enjoying myself as much as I enjoy challenging myself. This was the perfect combination of both.”

Richard Reed
Richard Reed