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New signage for Sandy Lane Shopping Centre Skelmersdale

Fantastic new signage has been installed at Sandy Lane Shopping Centre inspired by local heritage and work produced by pupils from St Richard’s Catholic Primary School.

Artists Neil and Fiona Osborne from One Red Shoe worked with the young people and have created this bespoke design in illuminated lettering.

The children’s artwork that inspired the design can be viewed at Café Vibe on the ground floor of the centre from the week beginning Monday 14 December until Saturday 30 January 2016.

This bespoke banner heralds the success of The Friends of Sandy Lane “Get creative with Sandy Lane project”.

The children thoroughly enjoyed working on the banners, with one saying “I enjoy being creative and having the chance to work with real artists’ and another adding “knowing that our art work would be displayed in Sandy Lane was a dream come true”.

Mike Holden, St Richard’s Catholic Primary School head teacher, said: “It was a great opportunity for our school to collaborate with local artists and to really push and inspire some of our gifted and talented children.

The Friends group, a partnership of business, community and the Council, was set up in October 2014 to support community developments and improvements at the centre. A number of family friendly events, such as art workshops, a teddy bears picnic and a vintage market took place at the centre. These gave the local community and businesses a chance to give their views on how the Sandy Lane Shopping Centre could be improved.

The Friends group is pleased to announce it has been awarded £15,000 by Arts Council England to help it put into action the first phase of the findings of that consultation process. This project will draw on local heritage with author Sarah Schofield and artists Neil and Fiona Osborne. The local community and invited groups such as the Park Children’s Centre, West Lancashire Community High School, and Stocks Hall Nursing Home can get involved through a programme of creative writing and arts based workshops. More details of the project and workshops will be announced in the near future.

Although funding has been approved for the first phase of the project, further funding will be needed for the next phase.

Councillor Yvonne Gagen, portfolio holder for Leisure, said: “I am looking forward to seeing these banners going up as the children and the artists have put a lot of effort into producing this excellent piece of work.”

Councillor Ian Moran, Leader of West Lancashire Borough Council and portfolio holder for Regeneration, said: “I am very pleased to hear about the grant award for the Friends group. This project sounds very exciting for the centre and the local community.”

If you are interested in joining the Friends of Sandy Lane please contact Jenni Ashcroft on 01695 571328 or email jenni.ashcroft@westlancs.gov.uk.

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