Town centre street art adds creative element to Coleraine Revitalise scheme
Mon, August 07, 2023
Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council has completed the latest phase of the ‘Revitalise’ programme for Coleraine town centre.
A town centre support programme funded by the Department for Communities, Revitalise aims to boost the economic viability of town centres by investing in visual improvements to business and shop frontages.
Launched in January 2022, funding for the latest phase was allocated for works on various properties located in Coleraine town centre. Complimenting works completed at Waterside in 2013 and Railway Road in 2017, this latest phase saw 60 business owners benefit from grants of up to £5,000 towards improving their business frontages.
In addition, the programme has also invested in new hanging baskets, a ‘living wall’ on Park Street and more than 50 pieces of innovative and exciting street art.
Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens, Councillor Steven Callaghan said: “Investment such as this allows us to look to the future as we work together to encourage people to support our local businesses.
“The town centre has certainly benefitted from these changes, and I’d like to extend a special thanks to the artists, students and young people who participated in the street art phase of this programme; they are to be commended for their skill and creativity.
“Collectively, this investment will help enhance the sustainability of our town centres and we are grateful to the Department for Communities for their continued support. It is my hope that the newly revigorated Coleraine town centre will be a welcome improvement for residents, visitors, and shoppers alike.”
The street art element of the Coleraine Revitalise project was curated by well-known local artist Michelle McGarvey. The artworks, based on the theme of heritage, aim to raise the profile of both the traditional and modern aspects of Coleraine’s past, with focus on the natural environment and industrial sectors.
Department for Communities Officer Rhonda Williamson commended the completed works, stating: “The Department has awarded almost £300k to Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council to deliver a revitalisation scheme to help local businesses improve their shop facades and create a more vibrant and attractive town centre.
“Through projects like these the Department continues to help support our town and city centres as they continue the process of economic recovery following the COVID pandemic.”
In total, 14 individual artists were commissioned to complete the town centre street art and the project also involved young people from all post-primary schools in the Coleraine area.
The scheme, which consisted of both small and large-scale installations included a piece on New Row based on the idea of compassion, while Shane Sutton created town centre artwork entitled ‘Spacer’ to reference Coleraine-born physicist Alexander Anderson.
In addition, the wall of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive’s offices at Abbey Street has been adorned with the work of leading artist FRIZ, who created an image of a stain glass window candle referencing the medieval Dominican Friary which once stood where the Diamond Shopping Centre is now located.
Visitors to the town centre will also be welcomed with a stunning array of smaller outdoor art, from wildlife adorning electrical boxes to colourful fish swimming along walls.
For further information on this exciting project and other town centre initiatives please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Coleraine Revitalise Steet Art Project
The Coleraine Revitalise Street Art project, part of the wider Coleraine Revitalisation Scheme, is funded by the Department for Communities.
Coleraine has an industrial heritage related to textiles, from the linen markets at the Diamond in the early 1900’s, the spinners and weavers in Shuttle Hill, the various mills and shirt factories, the lovely Ballantynes knitwear ladies of the 60’s and 70’s to present day designers Hope Macauley and Sara O’Neill.
The project has delivered multiple artworks referencing the natural heritage of the Coleraine area including:
- Scenes of the River Bann by Sarah Carrington
- Wildlife by Claire McDowell
- The biodiversity of flora and fauna by Karl Porter & local school students
- Marc Holmes created a range of stencil graphics and Meadow Toye transformed a doorway on Park Street to reference local character and horse-trader Willie Stewart.
- Lisa Anderson created an amazing illustration to showcase a range of Coleraine’s natural, built and cultural heritage.
- Artworks by Rob Hilken on Church Street and Friz on Society Street, reference the textile aspect of Coleraine’s industrial heritage.
- ‘Others’ by internationally renowned artist EMIC
- Shane Sutton created an artwork entitled ‘Spacer’ to reference Coleraine-born physicist Alexander Anderson who made the first reference to black holes in space and was later cited by Stephen Hawking. The artwork on Queen Street faces towards the University of Ulster campus, where pioneering space research continues.
- Leading artist FRIZ created an image of a stain glass window candle referencing the medieval Dominican Friary, founded in 1244, which once stood where the Diamond Shopping Centre is now located (on the wall of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive’s offices at Abbey Street). The burning candle is also a globally recognised symbol for hope. This is appropriate in regard to the essential work that the NIHE Coleraine office does for so many people at often very difficult periods in their life.