Bognor town centre transformed with colourful mural – in pictures

Hoardings in Bognor Regis town centre have been transformed into a piece of art thanks to a collaboration between two charities.

Thursday, 20th August 2020, 12:25 pm

The partnership between Sussex Clubs for Young People and U CAN Spray CIO saw young people from The 39 Club spray paint the hoardings next to the Three shop in London Road last week.

The project was led by Sarah Gillings, a newly-appointed director on the board of trustees for Sussex Clubs for Young People and founder of U CAN Spray.

She said: “The power of street art projects to be transformative to communities and make places a tourist destination has been well documented and accepted. This particular group of local young people came to us with the idea that this was the activity they wanted to do, after seeing our posters in the town. Street art has the cool and ‘wow’ factor that young people want to experiment with, and for them to be involved in public-facing work boosts their self-esteem enormously. Not only this but it also engages and includes the whole community who can see tangible results and positive social change. It’s through keeping in touch with what’s actually happening at the grassroots level through public-facing projects like these that we are able to hone our offering based on actual need, in a post-Covid world which has been particularly hard on our youth.”

The charity has previously worked with young people in Bognor to create murals in various sites across the town, including at the former Store Twenty One site in London Road and on the seafront.

Town mayor Phil Woodall was on hand to provide some help, as were our Bognor PCSOs. He said: “I’d like to see more of this work around the town of Bognor Regis; especially when, occasionally we have boarded up properties, and the hoardings can look a bit depressing; whereas if you liven it up it gives something for people to look at. For the community of Bognor Regis this is a brilliant asset for the town.”

The mural was funded by Bognor Regis Town Council and Bognor Regis Business Improvement District (BID) helped find the site. Matthew Reynolds, vice chairman of the BID, said: “One of the highlights for me is to work with and support young people in Bognor Regis. I live here, and I know how challenging it is for them to feel motivated, especially now as they’ve not been able to go out as much and vent their creative instincts. Obviously, it wasn’t great before with just a grey hoarding, which can detract from the town’s overall impression, but this is something that will really brighten the high street up. The design looks eye-catching, and the project has helped young people, and the organisations that are supporting them, so it’s a no-brainer. It also gives something else for visitors to the town centre to see and appreciate. The more we can do of it, the better.”

Sheila Hodgson, projects officer at Bognor Regis Town Council, said: “Bognor Regis Town Council are keen to support community projects that benefit the young people of the town, with a number of councillors donating their individual ward allocation budget to support this particular project.”

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