Liverpool teenagers have helped preserve and restore two derelict properties in Norris Green after the buildings fell into disrepair over a number of years.
A part of the Symphony Housing Group, Cobalt Housing, is funding the project after purchasing the boarded-up properties from a private landlord.
The neglected buildings on Cottesbrook Close had been broken in to on a number of occasions and attracted vandalism, including the site hoardings surrounding the building. Cobalt Housing and the Art Valley Project took the initiative and involve young people in the creation of new hoardings for the properties.
A group of 15-year-olds from the local area worked with Liverpool artist Liz Harry in creating graffiti art designs based on the theme ‘respect and love your community’, while a second younger group of seven to 11-year-olds who live close to the properties followed the theme of ‘our house’.
Liz Harry said: “We wanted to create a piece of art surrounding the properties that would be meaningful to local people. When talking to residents and young people I found that there was lots of nostalgia and fondness about living in the area. Using song lyrics was a great way to express the young people’s feelings.”
Two Social Enterprises based in Liverpool, the Neighbourhood Services Company (NSC) and Blackburne House, have been engaged to carry out the refurbishment works. As well as employing local labour, the contractors will offer work placements to two local Cobalt tenants to offer them the experience of working in the construction industry.
The contractors will also be involved in hosting a number of other events, including a free DIY event for the local community.
Cobalt community regeneration manager, Rachel Wright said: “The art installations allowed local people to be involved in the first stages of the improvement works, take pride in the restoration and bring ownership back to the community. They have also brightened up the street and we have received lots of positive feedback from residents.”