Pupils from Nightingale Primary School with Cllr Adel Khaireh, Cllr Aidan Smith, Cllr Sam Littlewood and artist Haffeera Cader Saul unveiling a mural on Barnard Close

Published: Thursday, 22nd June 2023

Four inspiring new murals have been unveiled in Woolwich town centre as part of the Council’s work to showcase the area’s rich cultural heritage and celebrate the local community.

The distinctive, colourful murals were made by local artists, designed in collaboration with Royal Greenwich residents, schools and community groups.

An excited group of pupils from Nightingale Primary School joined Cllr Adel Khaireh, Cllr Aidan Smith, Cllr Sam Littlewood and artist Haffeera Cader Saul to unveil a mural on Barnard Close last week, which they had helped to create. Haffeera produced the “Area of Prosperity” mural following a series of workshops with year 4 pupils and local residents.

Artist Ellen Strachan also joined Cllrs to unveil her mural “Work in Woolwich” on Calderwood Street, designed with pictures and stories from people who work in Woolwich or have worked there in the past.

Cllr Adel Khaireh, Cabinet Member for Equality, Culture and Communities, said: “These stunning murals tell the personal stories and aspirations of our community, bringing creativity and colour to Woolwich town centre. It’s fantastic to see how proud the artists and the Nightingale pupils are of their artwork, and to see Woolwich’s rich history brought to life.

“On behalf of the Council, I’d like to thank all the different artists, community groups, schools and people who got involved and shared their memories and ideas. I hope they will all be enjoyed for many years to come.”

Lisa Risby, Child Welfare Officer at Nightingale Primary School, said: "We were delighted when Haffeera approached us to work with her on the mural.  We have a strong sense of community here at Nightingale, and local heritage is important to us, so we were honoured to be part of a project that ties these themes together. The children really enjoyed the workshop and have been looking forward to seeing their work on show.  It's great to see how the flowers they have drawn have been incorporated into the wider piece.”

Cllr Aidan Smith, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “I’m so impressed with these special artworks and how they have instantly brightened up empty spaces in the town centre. Alongside wider improvements which will get underway this summer, they help make Woolwich a more attractive and vibrant place for residents, businesses and shoppers.

“The upcoming works will provide improved facilities for traders in Beresford Street market including fully accessible public toilets, as well as new planting, better seating, lighting and play spaces throughout Beresford Square and Powis Street.”

The murals were commissioned as part of the Council’s Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) project, which is helping to regenerate the area’s historic centre. Families and young people can pick up a specially designed trail map from the Woolwich Front Room or Woolwich Centre library to discover the murals and draw their own mural designs.

The HAZ project has already seen the opening of the Woolwich Front Room on Powis Street as a venue for community and cultural events, including a wide variety of arts and crafts classes and community meetings. It also offers a café, display space for local entrepreneurs, facilities for exhibitions and consultations, and flexible, affordable workspace.

A series of shopfront improvements are also in progress. Local shopkeepers and business owners along Powis Street and Hare Street are being helped to improve the design of their shopfronts and restore historic features.