Young people to create mural inspired by local heritage

Young people in Blackpool are set to design a new street art mural inspired by local history.

The new mural, earmarked for the Talbot and Brunswick area, will be designed by members of local youth organisations and completed next summer.

The project is intended to inspire young people to learn about local history and develop their knowledge as well as their interpersonal skills. They will be encouraged to explore and draw inspiration from what matters to them about the architecture and character of their local area. Positive heritage themes and ideas that the young people generate will be represented in the artwork.

Under 18s taking part will also record the project, the making of the art and their personal experiences of taking part through creative outlets such as photography, video, drawing, spoken or written word.

“We believe that it is essential for young people to learn about the history of their area and community,” said Jed Sullivan, youth worker for Blackpool Boys and Girls Club which is leading the project that also includes Blackpool’s Youth Provision Partnership, Blackpool Council, Streetlife and Empowerment charity.

The project will encourage a sense of pride in young people’s local place

The mural and surrounding work with young people is being funded through a £15,000 History in the Making grant from Historic England, which aims to “put young people’s voices at the heart of the creative decision making to increase confidence and connection to their local heritage”.

“These History in the Making grants really show the breadth of what heritage can mean to different communities and the range of creative ways we can form connections to our local heritage…” said Ellen Harrison, head of creative programmes at Historic England. “These projects will improve young people’s wellbeing by encouraging a sense of pride in their local place and enabling them to gain new skills and confidence.”

The funding for the creative project complements the £1.7m funding boost to improve the infrastructure of youth facilities in the Talbot and Brunswick area. The money, granted last month by Youth Investment fund, will create a new purpose-built youth centre on the site of the current Boys and Girls Club on Gorton Street. The development will allow for more youth work activities and opportunities for young people from the local area following its completion, set for Autumn next year.

Pictured: The Victory Pub on Caunce Street by Claire Griffiths – a building of local architectural and historic importance in Talbot and Brunswick.

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    Antonia Charlesworth Stack is a journalist and editor from Blackpool. She was deputy editor of Big Issue North magazine and is editor of Blackpool Social Club. Antonia is also the founder of Reclaim Blackpool, a women's safety campaign that began life as an article she wrote for Blackpool Social Club. She's a contributing author to the Lancashire Stories anthology with her story about a Blackpool performer, The Call of The Sea. The book is available for free in libraries across the county.

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