Artwork inspiration created with local students

In May 2019, The Colourful North contacted Bell Decorating Group through their Cumbria Exchange “Support Offered” post when they were considering options to whitewash a building for a design with Whitehaven Academy.

The importance of whitewashing the building was paramount to the preparation requirements for the walls of the building to accept the design and provide the prepared canvas necessary for the design to be apparent, bold and illuminating.
Matthew Labourne, Director of The Colourful North, was put in touch with Michelle Wiggins, the Community Engagement Co-ordinator and Ross Tinkler, Contract Supervisor, for Bell Group Carlisle – where they discussed the requirement of the whitewashing and what was needed to prepare the wall for the design. Once The Colourful North’s vision was sent through to Bell Group, Carlisle set about bringing the inspirational designs to life.

As well as the Bell Group Carlisle team, the Colourful North arranged the assistance of Whitehaven Academy students who wanted to help put the design on to the building. All of the 14 volunteers worked hard to deliver the whitewashing to 3 faces of the building.
The timing was such, that during our whitewashing event Whitehaven Academy announced plans for a new £20 million school and the BBC News announcement featured some footage of the young students.

Bell Group Carlisle Painter, Steve Lambert commented ‘I was so happy to be able to volunteer my time for this project, I am a local lad and it was great working with the students. I hope they consider a career in painting after the efforts they put in – we worked hard and a great time was had by all’.

Matthew Labourne said “Without Cumbria Exchange, the relationship between The Colourful North and Bell Decorating Group wouldn’t have been established and we would have been without their fantastic professional assistance. To Cumbria Exchange and Bell Decorating Group, The Colourful North is extremely grateful and would recommend organisations use the website. Bell Decorating Group’s support has been paramount to us delivering the platform for our largest design to date, which we believe creates a transformative urban artwork which inspires the school and wider community.”

Michelle Wiggins, Bell Decorating Group CEC, explained ‘This was another fantastic event that gave us the opportunity to volunteer our skills, whilst building relationships and work with the students. We are so pleased with the end result and can’t wait to get involved with the next project!’

Where can I find out about the parties involved?

The Colourful North: 

Bell Group UK:

Helen Conway
Helen is the Cumbria Exchange Coordinator and the first port of call for all things Exchange. Read more from Helen