New community street art mural coming to Stowmarket
A new mural, painted by Stowmarket’s students and designed by talented local artist, is coming to the hoardings at the town’s recreation ground.
Mid Suffolk District Council and Pentaco Construction have joined forces with local illustrator and art lecturer Joel Millerchip to organise an art project inviting everyone to add their input to a new mural. Following incidents of unwanted graffiti, those tagging the temporary walls around the former Stowmarket Middle School are being encouraged to leave a ‘more meaningful mark’ in their community at Stowmarket’s free Family Fun Day on Friday 5 August.
The hoardings, which look out over the recreation ground and skate park, will be covered in street art. The design will come from Joel, with the spray paint to be added by the children, young people and families attending the Family Fun Day.
As well as the art project, families on the recreation ground can enjoy a host of free activities including archery and wall climbing (provided by Abbeycroft Leisure), face painting, a book giveaway and workshops for children and families. There will also be partner agencies on the day: Everyone Active will run a competition for a free sports centre membership and speak to attendees about sport and physical health, Combat 2 Coffee will be serving coffee and hosting workshops, and Citizens Advice Bureau with have resources and advice for anyone seeking help with the cost of living. A second family fun day will be held in Sudbury on 19 August with similar activities.
Cllr Julie Flatman, Cabinet Member for Communities, Health and Wellbeing, said:
“We are really excited to invite everyone to take part in this mural and create a something special for such a popular space in Stowmarket. Joel is an excellent artist, and his design and direction on the day will be a fantastic addition to the family fun day.
“I’d like to thank our team and Abbeycroft Leisure for their incredibly hard work adding these two fun days to the Suffolk Holiday Activity Programme. I hope everyone has a splendid time in the sunshine.”
Joel Millerchip said:
“I'm really excited to add my imagery to the hoarding and even more so to encourage young creatives to make a positive mark in their community.
"I hope combining this with the Stowmarket Fun Day will mean even more people have a chance to get involved.”
Gavin Napper, Managing Director, Pentaco Construction Ltd, added:
“We would like to thank those who reported the previous graffiti on the hoardings to us and we will continue to maintain these before Joel and his volunteers start working on the mural. We hope as many people as possible get involved and can see their work in place at our site while we continue construction on the new homes, because it’s important to us the solution to the problem on the hoardings is something we solve together.
“Our thanks to Joel and Mid Suffolk District council for all their help in bringing this plan to life.”
Residents in the area surrounding the site will receive letters with more details and information on how to get involved, and the details will also be shared on the hoardings themselves.
To get involved with the mural, please contact P1411Stowmarket@pentaco.co.uk before 27 July.
The project to convert the former Stowmarket Middle School and community education centre site into 38 homes was approved in 2020, and work on the site began in March 2022 following delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The properties offer a mix of affordable housing (one and two-bedroom flats, and two to four-bedroom houses) to be offered either as shared ownership, or as social or affordable housing, where rent is calculated below the private market rate to help households on low to moderate incomes.