Wednesday 26th November 2014
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Locals hail huge new art installation in Liverpool 8

A huge art installation has been unveiled in Liverpool 8, celebrating the beauty and heritage of the neighbourhood.

Around 75 local people and pupils from Holy Family School took more than 1,000 photographs of their area as part of a project to transform the sports pitches on Harlow Street.

The whole project was funded by Plus Dane Group with partners Liverpool City Council, Park Roadís Lifestyles sports centre, Arena Homes, Liverpool Mutual Homes and Liverpool Housing Trust.

Hundreds of locals turned out for the unveiling of the installation, which also features pictures of various football teams who have played on the pitches from the 1950s onwards.

The pictures, which replace the old graffiti-strewn hoardings and fences, have been enlarged and printed on vinyl.

Part of the project involved running workshops for local people on how to take pictures.

Among those who took part was Isabella Critchley, who said: "Learning about using cameras really opened my eyes to the beauty thatís all around us. People often just walk past things but if you take the time to look you see thereís so much in the city that is beautiful. The end result looks marvellous."

Former football coach Lenny Jameson was impressed by the old pictures of football teams on display, many of whom he managed over the years.

He said: "Itís brought back all sorts of memories. Thereís a lot of people still here, who are youngsters on these pictures and a lot of people who are sadly no longer with us. I felt like crying when I saw all the pictures together. The whole thing is brilliant."

Joseph Clinton, 10, who took one of the 'glo-stick' pictures on display said: "I play football on these pitches, they used to look 'baldyí'and there was lots of graffiti, but they look loads better now, Iím really going to enjoy playing here."

The Harlow Street Art Project was organised by Neighbourhood investor Plus Dane, a housing association responsible for more than 13,000 homes in Merseyside and Cheshire, and a range of partners.

The project has been judged such a success that managing director Gerard Murden immediately pledged £4,000 to fund more work of this kind.

Plus Dane neighbourhood engagement officer Lisa Cover said:  "Local people were concerned about vandalism and asked if there was anything we could do to improve the look of the pitches. It just shows how people working together can get great results for neighbourhoods.

"Residents said they didnít want the usual sort of mural and a lot of residents were keen to get involved and pick up new skills. The photographs are brilliant and the pitches look amazing. Itís been our privilege to be able to offer local people the chance to show how creative they are and how much the love their neighbourhood."

The photo workshops were run by local photographer Jonathan Dawe.