Ashton Underpass Gets Makeover With a Difference
Friday 18th December 2015 @ 11:57 by Tom Greggan
Ashton News

A community project funded by the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) has turned a neglected underpass into a work of art.

The underpass at West Street in Ashton was blighted by anti-social behaviour. The walls had been plastered with graffiti which included racist and abusive language.

PCSO Helen Brockett from the Tameside North Neighbourhood Policing Team decided to turn the wall into a positive landmark for the community and applied for £1,000 from (POCA) to fund a graffiti mural.

She worked on the project with local youth group, LGBT Out Loud, who provide a safe and supportive environment for young people from the LGBT (lesbian, Gay, bisexual, transgender) community.

She said: “My sessions with the group made it obvious that hate crime is unreported in this group with many people not aware of what it is and how to report it.

“Because of that I decided to base the project on raising awareness about hate crime and community cohesion.

“Everybody has worked really hard to make this project possible and the underpass now looks great. The mural contains lots of information about hate crime along with information on rail safety.”

Helen also involved a local street artist who was able to run two workshops with young people to help design the mural.

The project has also involved the help of Tameside Council, New Charter Housing Trust Group, Cheshire and Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Company and Sainsbury’s in Ashton.

Tameside Council Executive Member for Health and Neighbourhoods Cllr Lynn Travis said: “Arts projects like this can change the lives and aspirations of the community.

“I am so delighted that such dark and threatening area has been transformed into a demonstration of light and hope.”