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Youngsters have designs on derelict Great Yarmouth substation

PUBLISHED: 15:46 15 September 2011 | UPDATED: 15:58 15 September 2011

Middlegate Estate children with the finished mural which has transformed a substation.

(L TO R) Reece, Chloe, Lia, Leah and Leo <ALL CORRECT>

Picture: James Bass

Middlegate Estate children with the finished mural which has transformed a substation. (L TO R) Reece, Chloe, Lia, Leah and Leo Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

A SUBSTATION deemed an eyesore by a local community has been given a multi-coloured makeover, thanks to the ingenious work of a band of youngsters.

More than 20 young people from the Middlegate Estate in Great Yarmouth were joined by graffiti artist Kevin Parker, who helped them transform a blighted building into a vibrant work of art.

The mural on the Middlegate substation, near King Street, was the collective effort of 22 seven to 12-year-olds who used more than 40 cans of spray paint to create a splash of colourful words and pictures.

The move to revamp the building was backed by people living near the substation who agreed it was in dire need of a bright and breezy new look.

Ross Nixon is a media skills worker for the Benjamin Foundation, which helped coordinate the community project. He said: “The project went really well. Most of the young people who came down to take part had never done anything like that before, and it allowed them to do some good work in their community.

“We had a consultation with residents before, and they had no problem with the work that we were doing.

“In fact, they were keen for us to brighten the substation up.

“The youngsters had the creative freedom to do what they liked with the building, while artist Kevin Parker was on hand to provide stencil outlines, which the youngsters could fill in.

“All the young people helped with the painting – and, at the end of the day, it is their work that has helped the community.”

Great Yarmouth Borough Council, the local police, Comeunity Neighbourhood Management, The Benjamin Foundation and UK Power Networks all came together to launch the project.

The Benjamin Foundation decided to recruit youngsters to take part in the scheme through a series of free creative workshops they ran over the summer holidays.

SemSem Kuheri works for Comeunity Neighbourhood Management as a neighbourhood development officer for South and Central Yarmouth.

She said part of the project was simply seeing so many parents coming to take part and support their children.

“The area surrounding the Middlegate Estate is quite diverse, with a number of community issues. I think it brought a sense of ownership for the young people and parents in the area.

“The artist helped the children form their ideas and get them out their for people to see and appreciate.”

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