Date: 19 Aug 2022
Category: Supporting communities
An east Belfast bridge which has been a target for persistent graffiti has been given a makeover thanks to a community safety initiative with local young people.
The Dee Street bridge, which spans the Sydenham by-pass, has long been blighted by unsightly graffiti, and following a review of ‘graffiti hotspots’ by the East Belfast District Policing Community and Safety Partnership (DPCSP), the bridge was earmarked for a refresh.
Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Tina Black attended the official unveiling of the mural alongside East Belfast DPCSP vice chair, Councillor Gareth Wright.
Councillor Black said: “We know that graffiti is an issue right across the city; it’s unsightly and detrimental to local communities. This project is a great example of how we can take a creative approach to tackling the issue and create something that’s really special and unique to the area.
“The mural that’s been created by the local community is something they can all be very proud of, and I hope it inspires more of these kinds of initiatives. I’d like to commend the artist and everyone who worked on this – people of all ages, who came together to create this fantastic artwork which has really brightened up and enhanced the area.”
Gareth Wright, vice-chair of East Belfast PCSP said; “This is a great example of community in action. It’s been fantastic to see how engaged the young people have been; they’re rightly very proud of the finished result, and I hope it will inspire in them a real sense of pride in their community. We hope to see more of these reimaging projects developed in east Belfast in the coming months.”
Street artist Glenn Black from Blaze FX – the artist behind Belfast’s iconic ‘Teenage Dreams’ mural at Middlepath Street – worked with local residents groups and homework clubs in the area to help shape the design of the new mural.
“From the very outset, we wanted the local community to take ownership of this – it’s for them, by them,” said Glenn.
“It was really important that the finished product represented their input and ideas, so that it inspires a sense of ownership and pride in their local area, and hopefully creates something of a legacy artwork. Bright and vibrant murals and street art can really enhance the local streetscape; by working together we’ve created something that is very unique to this particular area of the city and it was a real pleasure to work on this project, and work with the young people to help shape and guide their ideas.”
For more information about the work of the Policing and Community Safety Partnership, visit www.belfastcity.gov.uk/pcsp