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Art competition supports heritage project in Mansfield

Posted onPosted on 18th Jun

A children’s art competition has been launched as part of the Mansfield Revived townscape heritage project, a five-year scheme, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, to restore the fabric of buildings in parts of the town centre.

Children are being asked to imagine, and draw or paint what some of the buildings could look like once they get a revamp, with a £100 go-kart as the top prize.

Youngsters do not need to visit the town centre but can use Google Maps Street View to have a good look at the properties in Leeming Street, Stockwell Gate or the Market Place.

Pete Brown, the project’s Community Participation Co-ordinator, said: “We really hope young artists will engage with this interesting competition and paint their favourite buildings.

“We would like them to look closely at the buildings above street level, because that’s where they will find the interesting designs and decoration and to look at the textures, shapes and colours in the walls, windows and the roof.

“In their pictures they can change the shop to anything they like. They don’t have to be an expert artist to take part and drawing and painting can be an enjoyable and uplifting way to help children unwind if they have been stuck indoors all day.”

Photos of their entries have to be uploaded at https://www.ourmansfieldandarea.org.uk/content/get-involved/mansfield-revived by midnight on Friday 17 July.

All the pictures will be displayed in an online gallery and there will be a go-cart (or £100 spend in store), donated by Smyth’s Toys, for the winner, plus second, third and runner-up prizes also up for grabs, thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The art competition, open to children up to 16 years old, is one of various community participation schemes during the lifetime of the Mansfield Revived project to encourage local people to take an interest in the architecture of the town and its history.

Forming a significant part of the council’s Growth and Aspiration agendas, the townscape heritage project, backed by £850,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, offers grants of up 75% to enable owners to carry out repairs in sympathy with their property’s heritage.

Cllr Stuart Richardson, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration and Growth, said: “This part of the town has some of its best and most historically significant buildings but some have seen better days and we hope this scheme will encourage owners to make a major improvements to the appearance of their properties.

“There will never be a better opportunity for owners to carry out the kind of repairs and upgrades they may have been putting off.

“This, along with the council’s wider revisioning of the town centre, will help to boost the appeal of shopping local and encourage more visitors into the district.

“I hope this competition will encourage more youngsters to take up art – anything that encourages children to be creative has to be a good thing.”

The Mansfield District Council-led project is being delivered in partnership with Mansfield BID, Vision West Nottinghamshire College and Nottinghamshire County Council and will also have opportunities for volunteers in a programme of community activities and events.

They include conservation and restoration workshops, historical research, oral history gathering, writing and story-telling, street theatre, art and photography activities, although some are on hold due to the Covid-19 virus.

Pete Brown added: “The archives and oral history training has been postponed for now, though we are looking into ways of delivering some of it online.

“We’ve engaged a number of volunteers – including a Mansfield-born graphic designer who now lives in Finland! He’s been helping with our new website which we hope to launch next month (July).

“We’re currently looking for people who would be interested in training in the weeks ahead as content editors for the website.

“You don’t need to be a technical wizard. The role will involve checking images and text before uploading to the website, and responding to queries and posts as appropriate.

“In the meantime, I’ve also been thinking up ways to engage local people ‘virtually’ during these socially distanced times.

“My aim is to encourage people to talk to their family, friends and neighbours and share their memories of the buildings in the townscape heritage area online at our pages at www.ourmansfieldandarea.org.uk. People can upload video, audio or written documents.”

Anyone interested in taking part can contact Pete Brown at [email protected] or by calling 07811 693870.

Property owners interested in applying for a grant, should visit www.mansfield.gov.uk/townscapeheritage.

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