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Nine individual mosaics spelling out the word Harrogate – which will be placed in a ‘drab’ town centre cut-through – are starting to take shape.

Harrogate BID (Business Improvement District) has partnered with charity Artizan International for the projects, which will see the large art works being installed in blocked out windows on the side of the Boots building, on Cambridge Place.

Harrogate BID Manager Matthew Chapman said:

“Cambridge Place is an extremely popular pedestrian cut-through between Cambridge Street and Oxford Street, yet one of the drabbest in the town.

“Now, in partnership with Artizan International, we want to give this street a real lift by installing nine colourful and eye-catching mosaics in these nine blocked out windows.”

Last month, The BID invited members of the public to offer inspiration to the individual backgrounds by telling them what they felt best symbolised Harrogate.

Responses included flowers, Bettys, cycling, Yorkshire Tea, The Stray, The Great Yorkshire Show and The Valley Gardens.

A number of these are now being used as the backdrop to each letter, which is being carefully made from pieces of brightly coloured pottery and tiles by Artizan International’s differently-able participants and volunteers.

Artizan International Founder Susie Hart MBE, and Harrogate BID Manager, Matthew Chapman on Cambridge Place.

Harrogate BID Chair Sara Ferguson and Manager Matthew Chapman visited Artizan’s Oxford Street shop and studios to see how the project was proceeding – and to add a few pieces themselves.

Sara said:

“The mosaics are starting to take shape, and the ones nearing completion look absolutely stunning.

“I’d like to thank Artizan International for partnering with us on this project, and also to their differently-able participants for bringing these letters to life.

“We were inundated with ideas for the imagery, I’m really pleased that many of these suggestions will now be incorporated into the nine individual letters.

“When completed and in place, these mosaics are going to add a wonderful splash of colour to what is probably one of the town’s best used, yet soulless thoroughfares.”

To ensure the project is delivered on time, the charity, which is based on Oxford Street, is seeking more help and materials.

Susie Hart MBE, Artizan International Founder said:

“Our differently-able participants & volunteers are really enjoying helping create the mosaics.

“Our mission is to change negative attitudes and hidden prejudices towards people with disabilities, not by telling people to change their poor attitudes, (which won’t work, but by showcasing the talents and abilities of the amazing people we work with, so the public’s eyes are opened to their abilities, not just their disabilities.

“Making the BID mosaics is a great opportunity in this regard to educate local people on how gifted our people are, and to build a more inclusive, kinder, welcoming and mutually appreciative society as a result.

“We are always looking for more help, and would certainly welcome more assistance to help us finish this project, to enable the mosaics to be in place for the end of the summer. We are also looking for donations of colourful China and also colourful tiles.”

Those interested in volunteering for this project should email Liz Cluderay, Artizan International UK Programmes Officer, at liz.cluderay@artizaninternational.org.

Those with materials to donate, namely brightly coloured pottery and tiles, are asked to drop them off at 39 Oxford Street, Harrogate.

Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.