NEW FERRY REVIVAL: A major mural project “Dancing With Colours” is gathering pace
A major mural project in New Ferry is gathering pace, as the town begins its revival.
In March 2017, New Ferry was devastated by a criminal gas explosion which injured 81 people and destroyed many homes and businesses.
Wirral Council was slammed for acting too slowly in the aftermath of the disaster, but last year it announced big new developments for New Ferry.
The local authority’s plan will see more than 1,000 square metres of retail space and up to 79 homes built across three sites, including that of the explosion site.
In addition to this, artist Paul Curtis is moving forward with his ‘Dancing with Colours’ mural project, which is brightening up the town.
Mr Curtis said his project, which is partly funded by a Wirral Council community fund, had begun its second phase this week.
Last summer, Mr Curtis, the artist behind the Liver Birds mural in Liverpool’s Jamaica Street, painted several murals on New Chester Road as part of the project’s first phase.
They included a 1960s hair dressing scene at Charisma Hair Design, piglets at Boysenberry delicatessen, a heart-shaped white cloud at mental health charity Gallier House and a beach scene across Sun Junk-e and Simple Credit.
Speaking to the LDRS, Mr Curtis said: “There was some push back against it at first, some said what was the point of it.
“But the New Ferry Residents’ Association kept pursuing it and eventually the traders agreed to go ahead with phase one.
“By now everyone seems to be fully behind it, everyone can see the benefit of it.”
Mr Curtis said the town was not treated well after the blast in 2017.
He added: “New Ferry was ignored, particularly so nationally, after the explosion but the murals have got a lot of attention.
“Most residents now stop and talk to me, they love them and they look forward to seeing what happens next.”
This week Mr Curtis is starting work on phase two of the Dancing With Colours project.
He said: “Yesterday we started work at Parkside Vets, we’re painting a couple of dogs playing in the park.
“That’s the biggest piece in phase two at the moment. It should be finished by Friday if the weather stays good.
“I’m also painting a number of small murals closer to the centre of New Ferry, including lotus flowers on the Go Local Off Licence.”
As well as this, an abstract piece above another row of shops on New Chester Road is something Mr Curtis will be working on later in phase two.
Mr Curtis was confident that his work will continue to improve the town’s appearance going forward and was happy that residents had a very positive attitude towards it after such a tough few years for New Ferry.
Words: George Morgan, Local Democracy Reporter
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