By Ian Dipple 03/08 Updated: 03/08 10:09
A PIONEERING community art scheme developed in Redditch to prevent bus shelters from being vandalised has now gone national.
The Roadway Arts Project was first introduced in 2007 by Redditch Community Safety Partnership and the borough council to work with local schools, community groups and student artists to decorate bus shelters to reduce vandalism and encourage residents to have pride in their areas. It has been expanded over time to include shop shutters and underpasses.
And after hearing about the scheme Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council decided to adopt it by having artwork installed on bus shelters near to Mill Hill Train Station in Blackburn as part of a wider revamp of the area.
They were printed using the Redditch method by a town based firm and the borough council offered advice and guidance on the composition.
The scheme has already received national praise and was described by Under Secretary of State for Transport Norman Baker on a visit to Redditch last year as an example for others across the country to follow.
Coun Juliet Brunner, who was responsible for community safety when the Conservatives were in power and the brainchild behind the idea, said: "We’re delighted that Redditch’s Roadway Arts project has inspired another council to improve their bus shelters in the way we have done.
"This is something we’ve been doing in Redditch since 2007 and it’s been really well received, not just with residents but also in the press and between local authorities themselves, as this news demonstrates.
"Over the years we’ve developed the idea and expanded Roadway Arts into underpasses, the area around the railway station and bigger concrete bus shelters too. As well as protecting and improving these important public spaces the design and creation of these pieces of public art gets so many people involved in so many positive ways that it brings a little lift to the community.
"The Redditch Community Safety Partnership can be rightly proud of the whole project."
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