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Canal Colour Comes To Foleshill Fence

A long stretch of dilapidated fencing alongside Coventry Canal is about to get an artistic facelift by young neighbours sick of the eyesore.

The fence runs alongside the Acordis (formerly Courtaulds) factory in Foleshill, where job losses have meant that any investment or unnecessary maintenance of boundary fencing has been cut back.

Environmental charity Groundwork Coventry approached the site manager to ask him to donate the old metal fence as a blank canvas on which a community group could paint a mural.

The mural painters are a group of young people who live in the Clinton Road area, which is opposite the fence.

They are currently attending weekly design workshops with community artist Ivor Arbuckle from Splinter Community Arts Limited in Walsall.

Ivor is encouraging the youngsters to view their local environment around the canal as inspiration for their mural designs.

He will then help them incorporate their designs into a complete mural, which they will scale up to the full size of 45m by 1.2m.

The workshops are being held at Foleshill Social Club, after club steward Des Askham agreed to allow them to meet there.

The youngsters, who do not have an official youth club, are trying to get up a petition to persuade local councillors and council officials to provide them with a venue.

Mr Askham said:

"It is difficult to expect the kids to stay off the streets when they have nothing else to occupy them and keep them out of trouble.

“It seems that there are no facilities for them in this area so they end up, as some of them have done, robbing premises like ours.

“If they had somewhere to go and a youth worker to point them in the right direction, then maybe they wouldn't get into trouble.

”This mural painting project has really given them a focus. They all seem to be enjoying it and it will certainly brighten up the canal round here."

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CWN / Environment / Organisations / Groundwork Coventry / 15 Aug 00

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