Year 5 Pupils from Aughton St Michael’s Primary School have been putting the finishing touches to a fabulous art-themed community garden called ‘A Conversational Place’.
The pupils came up with the idea when they did a walk around the village looking for a scheme to help improve the local area as an Archie Bishop project, which is run by the Archbishop of York’s Youth Trust. They saw unused land at Town Green Station and felt this would be an ideal place to do improvements.
West Lancashire Borough Council’s Arts Development Service helped develop the project, becoming a key partner resulting in a successful application for £15,000 of Lottery funding from Arts Council England. Furthermore Merseyrail contributed £25,000 in-kind to the scheme.
The children have been putting in the final plants at the garden and have helped to install artworks they have been working on with professional artists Jack Doyle and Caroline Barker, who are known collectively as ‘We Make That’. Dimples Child Care, Springfield Nursing Home, Pavilion Nursery and St Michael’s Church have also been heavily involved with the project, particularly the artistic side.
These final works will be completed in time for the grand opening of ‘A Conversational Place’ at 1.30pm on Friday 10 July. This will be the highlight of an afternoon of exciting activities from 1pm to 4pm with plenty of community stalls and refreshments for people to enjoy.
To make sure all the children are safe for the event Middlewood Road, Aughton, will be closed between 1pm and 4pm. Councillor Yvonne Gagen, West Lancashire Borough Council portfolio holder for Leisure, said: “The children have worked really hard along with staff from West Lancashire Borough Council’s Arts Development Service, the artists and all the other groups involved. They can be really proud of their efforts as they have created something really special.”
The children are very grateful to companies Lorne Stewart, Manor Building Solutions, Creative Impressions, Fairfields, and Germinal for supporting the project.
Emma Stone, senior leader at Aughton St. Michael’s Primary School said: “This has been a fantastic project for the children and they have really learned a lot working with the artists and other people involved in the project. We hope that people from all ages in the local community will enjoy the garden for many years to come.”
Sally Ralston, Merseyrail’s Corporate Social Responsibility manager, said: “We are delighted with the progress of this project. It is the type of initiative that we love being involved in. We are committed to working closer with the communities our network serves. It has been great to see people from all areas of the community around Town Green be so enthusiastic about their own local area. We are excited to see the garden on launch day and all involved should be very proud of what they have achieved.”