Leicester schoolchildren create a scene at University of Leicester building project

Posted by uatemp13 at Mar 07, 2013 11:30 AM |
Mural at University of Leicester’s College Hall brings together the local community

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 7 March 2013


Contact pressoffice@le.ac.uk to request images

A £17.5m redevelopment project at the University of Leicester has received a colourful boost thanks to the efforts of a local artist and schoolchildren.

The builder’s hoarding at College Hall, Knighton, which is currently undergoing redevelopment, has been livened up with a colourful mural, created by nearby St Thomas More Catholic Voluntary Academy with help from Arnesby artist Peter Welton.

The mural, which is over a hundred feet long, is made up of 18 different panels – each one depicting a different local scene or landmark from the Knighton area.

College Hall, a 1960s built student accommodation situated next to the Attenborough Arboretum, is being refurbished to transform it into a residential conferencing and training centre renamed College Court.

Contractor Willmott Dixon joined forces with St Thomas More Catholic Voluntary Academy, the University of Leicester and Peter Welton, who has a studio in Arnesby, to create the mural on the builder’s hoarding, with work beginning in September 2012.

The Academy took photographs of local landmarks and the community, including the nearby Cradock Arms and the local Guide and Scout clubs. These photographs were then projected and drawn onto large sheets of wood by School Art Co-ordinator Di Dunkley and parent Clare Lightfoot, before being painted by the children.

The project involved children of all ages, with every pupil in the school contributing to the mural. Patricia Mason, head teacher of the St Thomas More Catholic Voluntary Academy, said:

“This was an exciting project for the school to be involved in. The children really enjoyed creating the mural and now love seeing their art work on display to the whole community.”

Artist Peter Welton said:

“When I was first approached by the University to be the Artist and Director of the project, I thought I would select some of the notable buildings of Leicester to be featured. However it was soon decided that there would be sufficient material in Knighton which would warrant inclusion.

“This then extended into including some of the well-known characters in the area and portraits of many of the children from St Thomas More Catholic Voluntary Academy. In this way, the mural is very much a reflection of the location. It has turned out to be the biggest picture I have ever painted.

“I must mention the invaluable help and advice I received from teachers at the school, particularly Di Dunkley, and from Clare Lightfoot, a parent much involved with the school”

David Vernon, Project manager in the University of Leicester’s Estates and Facilities Management Division said:

“Willmott Dixon, who kindly supplied all the materials for free, often engage with local schools to decorate their hoardings and the University of Leicester saw this as an excellent opportunity to include the local community in the project.

“The University of Leicester would like to extend their thanks to the staff and students of St Thomas More Catholic Voluntary Academy for their time and effort in transforming the builders hoarding into a temporary street scene that can be enjoyed by all in the local community.”

James Elliment, Construction Manager for Willmott Dixon explained:

“Willmott Dixon actively look to engage with the local community and we were very pleased to be able to work with St Thomas More School and local artist Peter Welton on the College Hall project. The hoarding designs and the work that the children put in have been a huge success and the mural looks fantastic on our hoarding.”

When the building works are completed, the school hope to offer some of the artwork to the landmarks depicted in the paintings. The rest will go on display at the academy to brighten up the school grounds.

The new College Court conference centre will be completed in September 2013 ready to open in October 2013.




For more information, please contact David Vernon on 0116 252 1090 or email drcv1@le.ac.uk

More information about the College Hall redevelopment can be found here:


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