Mural project brings taste of Copenhagen to Bridlesmith Gate

A mural by Dilk on Bridlesmith Gate

A Nottingham developer who has been instrumental in transforming the fortunes of Bridlesmith Gate has joined forces with a host of local organisations to bring a colourful taste of Copenhagen to the shopping street.

Arran Bailey of ALB Group has enlisted the help of local youngsters, Leonard Design Architects, The Nottingham Project, Marketing Nottingham, Nottingham BID and Nottingham City Council to inject some colour into a city centre many consider “vanilla.”

Bailey, who has successfully let most of the units on Bridlesmith Gate, decided to act after meeting students at Nottingham College who described Nottingham as “bland.”

He said: “We want to make this area cool again – bring a vibrancy back that Nottingham was once known for. After visiting students at Nottingham College, we knew that offering lower rents, and shorter contracts was just the first step in a wider plan.

“I was shown some concepts by John Morgan at Leonard Design Architects, his designs blew me away, and I knew this would be amazing for Nottingham. We hope that this project will provide a model for other cities.”

Morgan, who has previously been involved in projects such as Bispevikia in Oslo and The Jam Factory in Melbourne, Australia, said: “The students explained to us that they had travelled the world, been to bright colourful cities like Copenhagen and Berlin – and that Nottingham was vanilla in comparison.

“It made for difficult listening, and as much as I love our city, you must admit that they do have a point. Many of the shops and buildings in the city centre – and on Bridlesmith Gate in particular, are cream and white or grey, there is no colour, and no personality. Shops had been closing down before Arran created a new strategy, and we need to get people engaging with our city centres and high street again.”

Morgan added: “The project will see the buildings on Bridlesmith Gate painted in bright murals, previously closed areas of the street opened up once more, bright artistic installations on every corner, and even a few surprises – making the street a destination – and extremely instagrammable.”

Nottingham BID and The Nottingham Project helped commission Carousel – a community of artists, freelancers and small businesses – to carry out the project.

Artists including Laura Decorum, Dilk, Lesser Than Three, Kynobio, Zena Kay and Emily Catherine began work on the murals last week.

Project coordinator Benjamin Kay said: “There will be five murals to celebrate the cultural legacy of Bridlesmith Gate, explore its diverse history and bring a vibrant and fresh new look to the area.

“Through unique pieces, the street will be transformed into a walkable timeline. Each mural is an interpretation by the local artists which capture moments of time and stories from the past. Embark on a visual journey that starts 100 years ago and continues into our city’s cultural future.”