Youngsters' mural brightens up historic shop unit

Local art students have joined Mansfield's Mayor to celebrate the completion of a mural aimed at brightening up an empty shop unit.

A group of young people aged 11 and 12 created a mural on the ground floor of the former Dickie Dirts clothing shop at 11 Leeming Street in Mansfield town centre. The property forms part of the Mansfield Townscape Heritage Project, which is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The colourful mural, which is on the theme of Mansfield Past, Present and Future, was painted by Year 7 art students from Brunts Academy supported by local artist Clare Taylor, of Bus and Bird Arts, and a group of willing volunteers.

The Mayor and Cllr Stuart Richardson, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration and Growth, thanked the students for their involvement.

The youngsters explained how elements of the mural related to Leeming Street, Mansfield and the property's history as one of the first Boots stores in the country. It includes yellow canaries and a grey cog in reference to the mining industry; green pharmacy crosses, glass pharmacy bottles and pills relating to Boots; water symbols as a nod to the River Maun and Mansfield's impressive record of creating Olympic and Paralympic swimming champions; a large oak leaf to symbolise Sherwood Forest and a greener future for Mansfield and jeans in reference to the building's past as Dickie Dirts. 

Executive Mayor Andy Abrahams said: "Not only does this mural brighten up the street, but it's provided a valuable hands-on arts experience for the students who have gained a better understanding of the history and heritage of Leeming Street.

"We hope it's provided a discussion point for members of the public who may remember working in this building years ago or recall what it was like as a shopping street decades ago.

"We'd love more people to get involved in our Townscape Heritage project by sharing their memories and old photos."

The Townscape Heritage Project is a £1.3m five-year 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, which is being delivered in partnership with Mansfield BID, Vision West Nottinghamshire College and Nottinghamshire County Council.

Behind the scenes, work is progressing with local businesses and property owners ahead of repairs and refurbishments taking place to enhance the architectural quality of the Victorian and Georgian buildings.

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

To get involved, visit the project's website (opens in new window)

Published: December 17th 2021