Graffiti keeps wrecking ball teams at bay

Howard Plant is delighted with the street art graffiti painted in his car park in Church Street.

Howard Plant is delighted with the street art graffiti painted in his car park in Church Street.

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A town centre building condemned for demolition has been saved thanks to the street art adorning it.

The owners of the building on the corner of Cookson Street and Caunce Street were planning to pull it down last year.

But much loved street art on the back wall, which overlooks Church Street car park, depicting a girl and colourful paintings, meant residents in the area pleaded for the building to remain standing.

Instead Tiger Estates decided to rent it out at a cut price to help a local business.

Elite Signs now rents the property for a third of its original listing price.

Stephen Webster, director of Tiger Estates and S&L Properties, said: “The community wants to keep it and those artists have gone to a lot of trouble, that’s why we’ve backed it.

“If we knocked it down we’d create another 16 parking places but it’s not all about money, sometimes you’ve got to give a little something back.

“At some point it will have to come down through redevelopment of the area but only at the last resort.”

Now the wall is set to be redone as part of the Sand Sea and Spray urban art festival this weekend.

Mina Scott, from the festival, said dozens of people approached her upset as she cleaned the wall ready for repainting earlier this week.

She said: “People love the artwork.”

Festival organiser Robin Ross said: “This is a perfect example of how the event has impacted on the town, causing people to take notice of urban art.”

The wall is being re-done by Australia-born street artist Smug and is expected to be completed later today.