Eye-catching new artwork produced by creative youngsters has been unveiled at a north Northumberland town-centre bus station.
The six images have been positioned inside the premises at Alnwick to give the area – long a source of criticism – a vibrant look and to encourage youths to feel positive about the community.
The project is the brainchild of the town’s Gallery Youth and around a dozen young people worked with Rothbury-based urban artist John Craggs to produce the panels, which reflect Alnwick’s cultural heritage.
The boards were unveiled on Monday morning, as part of Gallery Youth’s celebration of National Youth Work Week. The Duchess of Northumberland attended the opening ceremony.
She said: “It is amazing what these young people are capable of because the standard of the artwork is really impressive.
“It has enhanced an area which was pretty uninspiring.
“They have made a great job of it and it will be really good for their community.”
The boards, each eight-by-four feet, are a mixture of spray art and hand-painted pictures, and themes include Harry Hotspur and Alnwick in Bloom.
Gallery Youth worked with Northumberland County Council and Northumbria Police on the scheme, which received funding from Arriva, Homes for Northumberland, LMAPs and the Alnwick Town Team.
Ian McRae, project manager at Gallery Youth, said: “The project was about getting young people involved in doing something positive for the community. Hopefully the reaction to the artwork will be positive.”
The youngsters assisted in preparing the boards, spraying the background colours, cutting out and stencilling various shapes, crests and goblets, prior to the artist hand-painting pictures in the foreground.
Joe Davies, 14, was one of those to help out. The Duchess’s Community High School pupil, from Alnwick, said: “I am really proud. It makes the bus station look better than it was before and it gives a really positive image of young people.”
Talented Alnwick artist Helen Clark, 23, who volunteers at Gallery Youth, produced one of the boards – of Alnwick Treehouse – on her own.
She said: “ It was a challenge because of the sheer size alone, but I think I overcame it.
“I think all the boards look great and make a noticeable difference.”
Alnwick Mayor Bill Grisdale said the artwork was marvellous and brightened up the area.