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Colourful murals could bring riot of colour and breathe new life into Norwich city centre

PUBLISHED: 12:18 25 January 2016 | UPDATED: 14:16 25 January 2016

A mural in Pittsburgh. Norwich could be set for similar street art.

A mural in Pittsburgh. Norwich could be set for similar street art.

Submitted

Colourful murals could be painted on a string of walls around Norwich, as part of a drive to use street art to breathe new life into the city centre.

The wall on the side of the building on Ber Street where a proposed mural could be painted.
 PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY The wall on the side of the building on Ber Street where a proposed mural could be painted. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

The idea takes its cue from United States cities such as Pittsburgh, where ageing architecture has been turned into a canvas for artists.

Business leaders in Norwich believe specially commissioned murals could be used to build on the city’s thriving arts and culture scene.

Bosses at the Norwich Business Improvement District say the scheme, which will link up with the City of Stories campaign - which aims to attract more visitors to the city and to encourage locals to enjoy what’s on their doorstep - will give a new lease of life to blank walls.

The potential location for the first such mural has been identified as the gable wall of Pymm & Co estate agents in Ber Street.

An application to paint the mural on the side of the Grade II listed building has been lodged with Norwich City Council. Because the property is a listed building, listed building consent must be obtained.

Martin Blackwell, business and operations manager for Norwich BID, said: “If consent is given we will work with a contractor to install the first mural and then we will evaluate it.

“At that point we will ask for submissions for further locations. The first one would be in a great location and lots of people would see it.

“When people see what we have done and how ambitious what we are doing is, I think people will come forward to say they want to get involved too.

“The evidence from around the world has shown that art like this can reinvigorate areas.”

Norwich BID bosses are hoping that the first mural will be in place by March at the latest and will pave the way for more in the future.

• What do you think of the idea? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

19 comments

  • You do not have to look very hard in Norwich to find wonderful architecture both historical and otherwise, buildings should be kept in good condition, we do not need `street art` which is at best brash and tacky.

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    John Bridge

    Monday, January 25, 2016

  • A great idea, there have been some lovely street art around the Anglia Square area in the past. Sadly now far too many large paintings in the Anglia Square area now are 10 foot by 10 foot names, not street art.

    Report this comment

    el84

    Monday, January 25, 2016

  • No thanks! What a vile idea.

    Report this comment

    EnglishChap

    Monday, January 25, 2016

  • Fantastic idea - lets some of the talented artists out there loose on the bland 'canvasses' that exist around this drab city. It would give us motorists something to look at whilst stuck behind those cyclists!

    Report this comment

    AssaRummunInnit?

    Monday, January 25, 2016

  • horrible idea. they will make us look like a bunch of aloof oiks. i strongly oppose this.

    Report this comment

    Whiley's Mum

    Monday, January 25, 2016

  • One man's mural is the next man's graffiti.

    Report this comment

    Wymspen

    Monday, January 25, 2016

  • This is a great idea, done properly can become a tourist attraction in its own right. Having been to Brussels and done the comic book mural trail, it took me to parts of the city I wouldn't necessarily have gone and we ended up stopping in barscafes as we went. So if it can have a similar effect here and boost trade for our local shops and get more visitors to our great city, then I'm all for it. But the art does need to depict Norwich and Norfolk lifeheritagevalues to have any real kind of impact. Brussels has a large comic book heritage so it works for them.

    Report this comment

    QueensHillsCyril

    Monday, January 25, 2016

  • @smh - quite agree. But the article relates to the quality of the urban realm in the city centre, in that regard Belfast is head and shoulders above Norwich.

    Report this comment

    Rushallchap2

    Monday, January 25, 2016

  • Rushalchap2 - try going outside of the city centre, such as just off the Falls, Shankill or Crumlin. The old animosities still exist and the political murals are kept fresh and clean, just like the feelings that run through the communities.

    Report this comment

    So_Many_Haters!

    Monday, January 25, 2016

  • Good idea. Lord knows Norwich is a grim place so a splash of colour would be welcome. As for the comparison with Belfast, that's insulting to Belfast! Belfast is a fantastic city on the up, Norwich is a disappointing city spiralling downward.

    Report this comment

    Rushallchap2

    Monday, January 25, 2016

  • The churches are medieaval, the street plans are in part medieaval, there are a number of medieaval buildings left but Norwich does have a fine Georgian architecture where the council wreckers have spared it, and it is disappearing fast under the uncaring eyes of move ins who havent a clue about the place in which they chose to live, planners wanting something different on their cvs and cowardly councils which allow developments to destroy what is left. I dont want Norwich to look like Belfast or Derry -smarten Ber Street up, let the listed buildings tell their own story.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Monday, January 25, 2016

  • Oh Martin Blackwell- Is this he who did so much for Yarmouth-not, Frittering money away on vanity projects while the really attractive elements of the town, the buildings of historic and architectural interest went to rack and ruin and retailers made a mess of street vistas with ugly and inappropriate signs and ill kept properties. Looks like he is pursuing the same line in his new job in Norwich.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Monday, January 25, 2016

  • Vile idea Concentrate instead on restoring and preserving the properties which make Norwich different, places like the Cat and Fiddle and all the little yards and churches, and making developers put up buildings where all facades are attractive . And not on imposing someone's political and life views via in your face art-which with a few exceptions is rarely competent. If there is an overwhelming need to brighten up some of the worst of 20th C architecture then use 21st C technology to put up some Norwich school paintings on walls -some Cotmans and Cromes etc, scenes of a more beautiful Norwich past and places that former Norwich councils pulled down.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Monday, January 25, 2016

  • "This is an historical medieval City ,NO NO NO NO!" It once was, There is very little in the city thats medieval anymore. Other than the gridlocked cars, M&S and the BBC. Three medieval institutions right there.

    Report this comment

    monkeynuts

    Monday, January 25, 2016

  • Done well and in the right places it shows the talent of the city artists and brightens up drab walls. Done wrong and it looks like the taggers have been let loose, or can be turned to political ends (take a walk around Belfast to see the extreme end of the scale). If a list of potential sites and examples of what was planned was put on exhibition (and it would be easy to superimpose the art on a photo of the buildings involved) I'm sure more people would see it in context and be more receptive to the idea.

    Report this comment

    So_Many_Haters!

    Monday, January 25, 2016

  • This would be sheer vandalism and only encourage more graffiti around our fine city. NO, NO, NO!

    Report this comment

    Mr. Grouchy

    Monday, January 25, 2016

  • Excellent idea, Norwich BID. This is the kind of colourful improvement that Norwich needs and hopefully will give opportunities to Norwich's many artists and it's students from NUA. The murals will be an advert for Norwich's rich and diverse creative community. Norwich has a strong artistic history and this will add to its many layers from the Normans to present day. I wish that Norwich BID and the City Council could find more resources to remove graffiti tags, whether they are on council property or not, which do nothing for Norwich's attractiveness and, if the site is suitable, replace them with street art too.

    Report this comment

    Rich Hartt

    Monday, January 25, 2016

  • Dreadful idea, outdoor murals take a lot of upkeep and soon look washed out and depressing , seems crazy idea when the council etc is so short of money. Wonder what happened to the indoor murals of The Bloomsbury Group on the wall at the back of Whites on Queen street they were beautiful examples.

    Report this comment

    Jenkins

    Monday, January 25, 2016

  • Colourful life into city Pittsburgh America? Has this Labour Council gone mad again? This is an historical medieval City ,NO NO NO NO!

    Report this comment

    PaulH

    Monday, January 25, 2016

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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