Empty shop gets mural makeover by schoolchildren in Mansfield

Photo of Brunts Academy students working on the mural in Mansfield town centre
Brunts Academy students working on the mural in Mansfield town centre

Local schoolchildren are helping to transform the front of an empty shop in Mansfield town centre by creating a temporary mural.

The ground floor mural at the former Dickie Dirts shop is part of the Mansfield Townscape Heritage Project which is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The mural will be painted over the next six weeks by Year 7 art students from Brunts Academy in the town and the theme is Mansfield Past, Present and Future. It is hoped that the artwork will give the students and the community a better understanding of the history and heritage of Leeming Street.

Number 11 Leeming Street, which was also originally the site of one of the first Boots stores in the country, falls within the area covered by the Townscape Heritage Project. 

The council will be featuring photos on its Facebook and Twitter pages of the mural as it progresses. Visitors on social media are being encouraged to get involved by guessing what the finished mural may include and suggest how the elements of the mural relate to the property, to Leeming Street and to Mansfield.

Cllr Stuart Richardson, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration and Growth, said: "This property has been vacant for some time but by obtaining approval for the work from the owner, we hope this mural will brighten up the street as well as provide a valuable hands-on educational experience for the students.

"We hope the wider public, too, will contribute their thoughts and ideas. Perhaps there are people who remember working in this building years ago or recall what it was like as a shopping street decades ago." 

Local artist Clare Taylor, of Bus and Bird Arts, is leading the project and has helped the students with the design of the mural.

She said:  "I'm delighted to be part of the team bringing the stunning buildings on Leeming Street back to life and highlighting their importance to a new generation."

Students started work on the mural on 24 June and will be on site each Thursday afternoon for the next six weeks or until the mural is complete. The project forms part of their art curriculum and the art material costs are being covered by the school. 

The Townscape Heritage Project is a £1.3m initiative, which focuses on parts of Leeming Street and the Market Place conservation area, and has benefited from £849,100 of money from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, raised by National Lottery players.

Mansfield District Council is leading the scheme and it is being delivered in partnership with Mansfield BID, Vision West Nottinghamshire College and Nottinghamshire County Council.

Over five years, it will be helping local businesses and property owners in this area carry out property repairs and refurbishments to enhance the architectural quality of the Victorian and Georgian buildings.

Property owners are able to apply for match-funded grants of up to 75% to help with the cost of making improvements that are in sympathy with their building’s heritage.

The repair and conservation work is running in tandem with a five-year programme of community engagement and educational events for the town.

More details about the project can be found on its website (link opens in new window)





Published: June 30th 2021