Cannock Chase Council commissioned Neil Willis from Auniqueart to create the artworks on 14 shutters, including seven opposite St. Luke’s Church and seven on vacant shops by the Beecroft Road subway underpass.
Over the summer, the council asked the community for ideas and themes that could be built into the overall artworks. The completed artworks reflect these ideas and showcase the local area – past and present. The design styles include a stain glass window effect as well as traditional style murals.
Councillor Gordon Alcott, leader for town centre regeneration, said: “The artworks on the shutters have significantly improved the appearance of the empty shop units and have brightened up areas of the town centre.
“I would like to thank the community for contributing towards the designs and also the commissioned artist for the time and effort spent in completing the final artworks. The project has successfully been delivered on time and within budget.
“The Council aims for further town centre improvements to be completed within the next few months, with the exception of the Prince of Wales Theatre. This will take longer to complete due to planning permission and obtaining necessary consents”
Greg Dent from Chatwin Jewellers said: “Although I was quite sceptical about the idea because I would rather see the shops open, I have to say, they do brighten the area up, and given the shops will not reopen because of planned redevelopment, it is good the council has done something”.
Fred Pritchard, chairman of Cannock Town Centre Partnership, said: “This has been created by artists and painted on old and dirty shutters and brings a sense of ownership and caring to the town as well as the thought-provoking subject matter depicted thereon bringing life, colour and vibrancy back into the town."
Neil Wills from a Auniqueart said: “Throughout the transformation process, I have received numerous comments from shoppers in the town centre about the artworks and most have been extremely positive”.
This project forms part of a wider programme of environmental improvements in the town centre.
Work on a comprehensive painting scheme is also underway, items include; bollards, signage boards, directional signs, benches and railings. The redecoration will match the existing colour scheme and work is set to be completed this month.