September 25th, 2016

Street art making its biggest mark

Updated: 9:48 am, May 07, 2015

ARTWORK designed to revamp bus shelters and underpasses across the borough have gone on show to the public.

A special event was held at Trinity High School last Friday (March 6) to showcase the designs which will be installed at seven locations as part of the latest phase of the Roadway Arts Project.

Artists Andy Mills and Alex Godwin were asked to produce the pieces of art based on a set theme which were approved by a panel made up of councillors, business people and residents. Pupils at St George’s First, Trinity High and Ipsley Academy schools were also asked for their ideas as were young people at the YMCA in Church Hill and staff at B&Q.

Work on two of the underpasses have already been completed at Beoley Road West – which is a tribute to the wildlife and beauty of Arrow Valley Lake – and Hemming’s Entry near Car Park 7 in the town centre which represents the past and present.

Other designs include a tribute to Redditch’s industrial heritage and wider history at the Union Street underpass near B&Q and ways to enjoy being active is the theme at the Birmingham Road underpass by the Abbey Stadium.

Bus shelters are also included in the scheme and a site on Church Hill Way will be decorated with two designs picturing popular landmarks in the district – such as Bomford Hill and the Five Tunnels – and two shelters on Winyates Way will be revamped with a design around games and puzzles.

Work will begin on the other sites in the coming weeks and there are plans for a special children’s quiz arts trail to encourage residents to view the artwork as well as to include them on a new Redditch Walking and Cycling Map.

The latest phase of the project has been funded by Worcestershire County Council’s Choose How You Move scheme.

Since the Roadway Arts project started in 2007 there has been a drop in anti-social behaviour and vandalism in areas where it has been rolled out. The project won praise from a government minister and has been copied by other councils across the country including in Blackburn, Lancashire.

James Cooper, community safety project officer at Redditch Borough Council, said the latest phase of the project had been the biggest to date and there were now more than 40 underpasses and bus shelters decorated with original artwork available for the public to view.

“We want underpasses and bus shelters to be places we can enjoy using, where we can feel safe and stay connected to our community.” he said.

“Good public art shows our streets and neighbourhoods are places we care about and are worth looking after.

“These latest pieces are a great reason to walk, cycle or take the bus, rather than drive.”

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