Art is at the heart of a community

The partnership which is transforming a Gateshead housing estate is now getting residents to paint a positive picture of the area.

The partnership which is transforming a Gateshead housing estate is now getting residents to paint a positive picture of the area.

As part of the extensive five year regeneration of the former Bleach Green estate, the joint venture team comprising Haslam Homes, Yuill Homes, Nomad Homes and Gateshead Council, has launched a community arts project.

Bill Hindmarsh, senior youth and community learning worker at The Winlaton Community Centre, and local artist Charlie Allen, are leading the scheme which will see community groups design seven metres of tiling to be mounted on to a wall at the centre of the estate.

Bill said: "The benefits of projects like this are numerous. We are able to engage a cross section of generations, offering them the opportunity to put something back into the community and develop new skills."

Charlie, a specialist in ceramic arts, previously worked with residents from Bleach Green and Winlaton to deliver a number of ceramic art projects.

His wife June taught students at the former Bleach Green School and son Josh, a student at Falmouth University College of Art, has been heavily involved in the delivery of these community schemes.

Charlie said: "There is much more to this scheme than simply creating a piece of public art. We are capturing people's feelings and thoughts which help to build a picture of the area, its history, heritage and future."

The project, funded with £8,200 from the partnership and Youth & Community Learning Service, will begin later this month.

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