Art project lights up Kelham Island

Kelham Island Community Alliance (KICA) have united with local artists to brighten up the area’s utility service cabinets.

The Art and Heritage Trail project has transformed three cabinets, found at the end of Ball Street Bridge, to reflect Sheffield’s history.

The projects co-ordinator, 58-year-old Dale Atkins of the Millau Apartments, said:

“The one thing you don’t see when you see this is what was there before. The dull green cabinets with horrible graffiti on them. Now we have something that is relevant to the area.

“For most of us we are doing this as part of our day jobs, it was all on a voluntary basis.”

Following the team’s success, work has already begun on a fourth cabinet, with a further 23 possible sites mapped out.

Mr Atkins thanked the cabinet’s owners, Virgin Media, for their aid in getting the project started.

Virgin’s representative, 57-year-old Roy Reed of Wickersley, said: “As a local lad I was really excited in getting involved in the project.

“It represents what’s around Kelham Island: the artists, the young up and coming students, and some of the more established residents who live and work around here as well.

“It just shows the enthusiasm in the regeneration of the area in the way that things are changing in and around Kelham Island, an eclectic and bohemian village in its own right.”

The artwork itself was completed voluntarily by local artists John Wilkinson, Simon Wigglesworth-Baker and James Croft with funding from both KICA and a sponsorship by the local charity, The Suit Works.

Mr Wilkinson, 55, of the Netheredge area, said: “I think they look fantastic, I really do. I love the fact they are in different styles.

“We need to encourage artists to be submitting designs that reflect the flora, fauna, and environmental parts of the area.

“Art outside has a huge part to play both in people’s lives and given them interest in brightening up their streets and encouraging people in letting them know art has relevance to them.”

The project is looking for additional sponsorship from local business, those interested should enquire through KICA’s Facebook page.

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