Galliagh bus shelters to get artistic upgrade as project green-lit in Derry
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The scheme will see the revamped shelters at Fergleen Park, Fern Park and Heather Road (Cashelhill) become heritage structures with iconic images from Derry’s past.
It was proposed at a meeting of the Council’s Environment and Regeneration Committee.
Council officers sought consent for enhancement of the three shelters in the area, following a request by request from Outer North Neighbourhood Partnership (ONNP) and Ballyarnett Local Growth partnership.
As the partnerships have already secured £3,000 funding, and the plans can be completed with no cost to the Council. The current green metal structures could feature Derry’s Factory Girls, Amelia Earhart and Derry of the Past, with proposals worked up for others based on pivotal historical events and landmarks.
The project came about after ONNP commissioned local artist Joe Campbell to work with young people via On Street Community Youth and an older men’s group via Greater Shantallow Community Arts and complete a set of designs based on local history / heritage in early 2023.
The designs were finished in June and have been on display in the foyer of the new Galliagh Community Centre for three months.
In a presentation to the Council the Head of Environment, Conor Canning said the partnership may apply for further funding to enhance shelters across the district.
“These shelters are regularly subject to graffiti and vandalism,” he said. “This project may greatly reduce the instances of graffiti and need for further works."
The enhancements would be carried out in conjunction with a local youth group, under Council supervision, and would be ‘restored to an aesthetically pleasing condition’.
Ballyarnett Sinn Féin District Councillor Pat Murphy praised the partnerships for their ‘great proposal’.
"It’s really important that it involves local people and artists in the design and development phase,” he said. “I’ve seen the art at the Galliagh Community Centre. It’s really impressive and people are always looking and commenting on it.”
The Moor SDLP District Councillor John Boyle said the prospective designs for the shelters were ‘encouraging’ and ‘really good’.
"An important element of this is the community input and the ownership,” he said. “If we can help a community feel like they own this kind of infrastructure, then the community will see the level of vandalism dissipate.
"There’s an education to the bus shelters. If someone’s waiting for a bus, perhaps they’ll learn something they didn’t know before.
"This is something we’re treating as a pilot, and we’ll see how it goes, but if it’s successful it could be extended across the city and district.
"I look forward to seeing these absolutely everywhere in years to come".
Speaking after the meeting, Sinn Féin Councillor Sandra Duffy said: “Its great to see the work that has gone on with local artist Joe Campbell, On Street Community Youth and an older men’s group via Greater Shantallow Community Arts being able to complete a set of designs based on local history and heritage in early 2023.
“I hope that this project can be replicated in other areas in the times ahead and congratulate everyone involved in helping to brighten up and bring art into our communities.”