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New Swansea Railway Station mural celebrates the city’s past, present and future

A colourful new mural has been unveiled running along Platform 4 at Swansea Railway Station.

The mural was delivered by the South West Wales Community Rail Partnership, South West Wales Connected (SWWCo), which is headquartered at the station, with funding from Transport for Wales (TfW) and Great Western Railway (GWR).

It depicts key features of Swansea, running from its history to the present day, and was created in consultation with 10 local community groups including people of all ages. Swansea-based murals specialist Fresh Creative Co painted the mural based on guidelines that came out of the consultation.

Dawn Lyle, co-founder and chair of 4theRegion, which hosts SWWCo, said:

“We’re delighted with the mural, which came about after a shared vision meeting we held with local residents and businesses around High Street Station. People really wanted to see a better arrival experience and something that reflected kind of the vibrant community around the station, and this mural has definitely achieved that.”

Ashley Morgan, SWWCo Community Rail Officer added:

“Fresh Creative Co have done a great job with the mural, which is helping us to fulfil our aim of improving stations around our network, creating a better environment for the people who use them. This was very much a collaborative project, and the results speak for themselves.”

The mural was painted by Fresh Creative Co artists David Long and Twm Williams. It took them five days to complete and measures 90 feet by 10 feet. The mural moves from night to day, depicting Swansea’s past in night time colours and gradually moving to bright daytime colours as it depicts Swansea’s present and future.

Sharon Giffard, guard manager Central at GWR, which part funded the project, is delighted with the results.

“The project came about because GWR wanted to give this wonderful, historic station some character for our customers and colleagues to enjoy when arriving at Swansea,” she said. “The local GWR managers contacted TfW and made the proposal, TfW agreed in principal but needed permission from National Rail. GWR contributed to the funding as well as getting involved with the local artists to make suggestions and to offer feedback to initial drafts.

“The mural is fantastic and better than we imagined. It will create a nicer environment for the station, celebrates Swansea’s rich history, and will inspire the City’s artists of the future.”

David Toft, director of Fresh Creative, has led the creation of dozens of murals in the city, but this has been one of his favourite projects.

“It’s been fantastic for us and our artists to have the opportunity to paint a location that will have thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of eyes on it,” he said. “The mural gives a flavour of what Swansea is about and demonstrates that there’s a thriving art scene here in the city with homegrown talent able to produce such striking public art.”

The work was carried out by the not-for-profit arm of Fresh Creative provides creative opportunities for children, young people and members of marginalised and disadvantaged groups.

They run art workshops, including graffiti letter and spray can art workshops; they also design and deliver art projects with schools and community organisations, working to bring creative opportunities to everyone.

Hugh Evans, head of Community Rail, added that the mural is an example of a perfect collaboration between the Community Rail Partnership, GWR and TfW.

“It’s all a part of our ambitions to make our stations more welcoming and, having local children involved in its design, allows them to be proud of what they have done

Thanks to all involved who made this happen,” he said.