New community group's plan for mural at Wigan railway station

The ambitious artwork would completely transform part of one of the town's major arrival points.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 3:39 pm
Updated Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 3:40 pm
Dr Steph Dermott and Dr Paul Salveson from Wigan Community Rail

Wigan Community Rail is about to start work on improving Wigan North Western and has announced its first project is the creation of a large mural to go in the underpass.

The grassroots organisation is part of the South East Lancashire Community Rail Partnership which works to spruce up train stations across the region.

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Dr Steph Dermott and Dr Paul Salveson in the underpass at Wigan North Western

Wigan Community Rail is working in partnership with Avanti West Coast which owns the station and is providing funding.

An artists’ brief has now been released and the group is particularly hoping creative talents from the borough will get involved.

Wiganers will also get plenty of opportunities to have their say on what should be featured in the mural.

Dr Steph Dermott from Wigan Community Rail said: “This mural will be a great opportunity to showcase local creative talent and gives the community an opportunity to choose people and places that are important to them and celebrate Wigan.

“Our group has been doing projects at Bolton and we wanted to branch out and work in Wigan.

“There’s a lot of stuff going on. We’ve been waiting a while for the funding to come through because Covid has delayed everything but now we’re ready to get up and running which is really exciting.

“I’m from Leigh myself so I’m very much attached to the borough. It’s going to be good and we’re looking forward to it.”

Apart from Dr Dermott around 10 volunteers are involved with the Wigan committee, including Dr Dermott’s line manager Julie Levy.

Local organisations including community groups and charities, businesses, commuters, station staff and local authority organisations such as the library, schools and colleges will all be consulted on the mural.

Wigan Warriors are also keen to get involved and the club and the sport of rugby league will end up in the finished design.

The mural will be produced by a suitably experienced artist, with preference being given to creatives who are living, working or studying in Wigan.

They will be supported in the development of the design by volunteers, with the partnership hoping these roles will provide opportunities for newly-qualified artists or young people aspiring to a career in visual arts.

A number of other ambitious projects at North Western station and its surrounding area are also in the pipeline.

The establishment of the volunteers’ group has been warmly welcomed by the train operator running West Coast Mainline services through Wigan.

Suzanne Nicholls, Avanti West Coast community champion at Wigan North Western, said: “We are excited to be working with the Community Rail Partnership to bring some colour to Wigan North Western station.

“The unique artwork will transform the subway, reflecting the history of the town and community we live in and serve.

“We’re sure it will bring some cheer to our customers, local community and the Avanti West Coast team during this tough time and for many years to come.”

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