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Birmingham City Council

Children reclaim eyesore bridge

Children reclaim eyesore bridge

A graffiti daubed railway bridge has been transformed into a work of art by pupils at Wylde Green primary school.

Birmingham City Council’s Anti-Graffiti Unit, in partnership with Network Rail and British Transport Police, engaged Birmingham based arts company HamFisted to design a unique artwork with year 6 pupils.

The aim of the project is to give pupils a sense of ownership of the bridge near their school, which has been a target for taggers. The school have ‘adopted’ the bridge and will keep a watchful eye to ensure that it remains free of graffiti.

The Anti-Graffiti Unit first went to the school to talk to pupils about the problems caused by graffiti. This work then lead to an artist coming into the school to develop an with artwork that could then be painted with a special anti-defacement coating on to the bridge, which parents and children use to access the school.

Councillor Neil Eustace, Chair of the Public Protection Committee, said: "The project is designed to brighten up the bridge and problems with anti-social behaviour that go hand in hand with graffiti. The artwork is based around the children’s idea of past, present and future transport issues. The children have developed a sense of pride in the bridge and do not want to see it spoiled by ugly tagging".

Jo Kaye, Network Rail’s Route Director said:

"We are really pleased to be working in collaboration with local young people, BTP and the Council to combat Graffiti. Dealing with graffiti is costing the rail industry hundreds of thousands of pounds every year. This is a really creative solution to the problem and one of which the local community can be really proud."

Inspector Lee Gordon from British Transport Police, said:

"British Transport Police (BTP) is pleased to be able to support this art project and encourage children to take a positive step to enhance the environment in and around the railway network. Unlike this project, the artistic merits of ‘tagging’ are irrelevant; it is selfish vandalism and blights the area for others. Such vandals should be aware that BTP officers have considerable expertise and experience in investigating graffiti and more and more offenders are being brought to justice".

ENDS

For more information please contact Hayley Meachin on 0121 303 1271/ 07920 750007 hayley.meachin@birmingham.gov.uk.

  • Category: Children's Services
  • Reference number: null
  • Issue date: 16 November 2009