Popular Morecambe prom artwork could ‘end up in a skip’, fears artist

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An artist who began the Frontierland ‘mural’ is worried paintings may be thrown away when the hoarding displaying the artwork is replaced by the city council.

Bob Pickersgill, who started the community art project on the Marine Road West site in 2020, said he learnt Lancaster City Council plan to replace the blue wooden hoardings with metal hoardings which means most of the paintings will be too large to go on them.

He claims he was told the paintings would end up in a skip.

The leader of Lancaster City Council said the pictures would only be removed temporarily.

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The Artwork on Morecambe's Prom. Photo: Kelvin StuttardThe Artwork on Morecambe's Prom. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard
The Artwork on Morecambe's Prom. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

Bob said: “The paintings have got to come down, yes, you are going to have the horrible blue wall again.

"I received a call from Lancaster City Council telling me they have a plan to replace the wooden hoardings with the metal hoardings similar to those on the furthest end of the prom from ALDI.

"This means that most of the paintings are too large to go on them.

"They made no suggestions that the council would put the paintings back up.

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Artist Bob Pickersgill has painted a mural inside The Star Cafe at the Festival Market.Artist Bob Pickersgill has painted a mural inside The Star Cafe at the Festival Market.
Artist Bob Pickersgill has painted a mural inside The Star Cafe at the Festival Market.

"Their plan is that it is a safety precaution as some of the panels recently came down in the wind.

"They cared little about this when Morrisons owned the property as boards have been coming off the structure for years, I asked the question " why don’t you use this money to level it and put grass on it and open it for the public. This suggestion was pooh poohed.

“At this time they still have no plans for the use of the land.

"Good folk out there, the artists have tried to improve the vision of the town. It’s now going to be ruined again I guess the panels are going to be there for another 25 years.

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“For any artists wishing to keep their work, I suggest you remove it.

"It was mentioned that they would end up in a skip.”

Councillor Phillip Black, leader of Lancaster City Council, said: “The artworks that have been fixed to the hoardings are emblematic of the pride that people have in our town and reflect the local artistic talent we have in our community.

“It has always been the council’s intention that the artworks are preserved and there has never been any suggestion that they are just thrown away.

“The problem we have is that the blue wooden hoardings are in a very poor state, are regularly damaged by the weather, and continually require emergency repairs.

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“There is a risk that the panels could blow down completely this winter when the stormy weather hits and cause damage or injury, which is something we obviously want to avoid.

“As a result, we are looking to replace them with something that’s more robust.

“We know how much people enjoy the artworks and while they will need to be temporarily removed while the replacement hoardings are erected, we absolutely want to see them replaced.

“I also appreciate that Frontierland has been an eyesore on the promenade for many years now.

"The city council acquired the site in 2021 from Morrisons.

"Expressions of Interest to develop the site were received earlier this year and we are excited to be furthering our plans for the site in the coming months.”