Paint festival transforms housing association scheme
A Bromford property has been brought to life during this year’s Cheltenham Paint Festival as part of efforts to regenerate a previously neglected part of the town.
Organisers of the second annual paint festival said they were thrilled to team up with Bromford, which owns or manages around 800 homes across Cheltenham, as one of the headline artists was let loose on the previously grey and drab building off St George’s Street. Internationally renowned muralist Paul, who paints under the pseudonym My Dog Sighs, spent two days over the weekend brightening up the wall at Thornton Mews which backs on to High Street Car Park.
The general needs scheme, which is home to 18 customers, now features a striking ‘Cheltenham Hug’ mural – the symbol of this year’s festival – which has seen 120 artists from across the globe descend on the market town.
Festival founder Andy Davies described his delight at being able to secure the large canvas in the northern part of the town centre and said the event was aiming to have a transformative effect.
“Thornton Mews is one of the few really great walls in that part of the town so to be able to team up with Bromford in our second year has been a real coup for us,” Andy said.
“This part of Cheltenham has traditionally been seen as a bit of an underdog so the fact we’ve managed to bring such a positive and inclusive design to High Street is wonderful. We firmly believe the work we’re doing is having a regenerative effect and changing people’s perceptions, making it a nicer place to be.”
Neighbourhood coach Jo Parry said: “This has been a fantastic opportunity to invest in our community, creating something of lasting value for customers, residents and visitors alike. It has significantly brightened up what is a key part of the town and the response from customers living here as well as passers-by has been terrific so far.”
Paul Thouless, who has lived at Thornton Mews for the past 15 years, added: “I could smell the paint on Saturday morning and I went outside and saw the whole thing come together. I think it’s wonderful and every town centre should have this kind of artwork as it really does lift the place and put a smile on your face.”