A piece of street art which pays homage to the Guild Wheel cycle route and its creator has appeared in Preston, and the Towns Fund Board is looking for more buildings in Preston to be host to future murals.

Adorning the rear wall of Snape’s Printers in Boltons Court, which links Avenham Lane with Church Street, the mural painted by local artist Gavin Renshaw, features a cyclist riding through Avenham and Miller Parks with the East Lancashire railway bridge and historic Park Hotel in the background.

Gavin was inspired to paint the mural as a tribute to former Preston councillor Peter Ward MBE. A passionate cyclist, the 21-mile circular Guild Wheel was Peter’s idea and he helped see the ambitious project through to completion in time for the Guild in 2012.

The mural is entitled 0/21 as the location depicted marks the official start and finish line of the Guild Wheel. Peter passed away in 2017 and a memorial garden in his name was also unveiled on the route in June this year.

Funded as part of Preston’s £20.9m Town Deal, the street murals are the latest Preston Pop Ups project aimed at increasing footfall in the city centre following the pandemic, as well as supporting local arts and culture.

Three further murals are planned in the city and Paint Preston, which is managing the project, is looking for other building owners to come forward to offer up wall space to support the artists.

Robert Binns, a member of Preston Partership and the Preston Towns Fund Board, said: “We’ve seen how street art in other cities around the world can create a strong sense of place and encourage visitors to spend more time exploring a city. That’s what we’re trying to achieve with this latest Pop Up project which will create another cultural focal point and support local artists.”

Councillor Matthew Brown, Leader of Preston City Council said: “This brilliant new mural by local artist Gavin, perfectly depicts an iconic Preston scene. It allows us to pay tribute to former Councillor Peter Ward MBE who gave so much to Preston by helping to create the iconic Guild Wheel, while welcoming more culture to our city. I encourage anyone who owns a building in Preston to come forward for this fantastic opportunity to create more great murals which will enrich the cultural journey through our city, welcome more visitors and celebrate local talent.”

Ben Rutherford, one of the project organisers for Paint Preston, said: “The other planned murals are all inspired in some way by Preston’s heritage, culture, and environment. They will be appearing at other locations in the city and one thing we need now is prominent wall space for the murals, so we’re urging any other building owners who would like to come forward and offer up an external wall to contact us.”

The Pop Ups also include the recently unveiled Wallace and Gromit sculpture and MET event space. The projects are being funded from a £1million pot of initial funding Preston received from the government’s national Towns Fund.

If you have a building that you would consider for one of the planned street art murals contact paintpreston2021@gmail.com.

Photo by Garry Cook @gazcook

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