‘Incredible’ new mural sees college students showcase history of town centre green space

Students from Northampton College have added a new mural depicting the history of St Katherine’s Gardens in the latest phase of work to overhaul the previously neglected town centre beauty spot.

The design adds to a previous mural, planted flower beds, restored benches and bins and other improvement works in the area led by Northampton Town Centre Business Improvement District (BID).

Art students Rostislav Ipati, Abigail Hellyer and Serenity Jeffery-Fleet created the concept of the design, which includes references to St Katherine, religious ceremonies and Sir Fank Dobson’s sculpture ‘Woman with a Fish’ that was originally installed in the area in the 1950s before being relocated to Delapre Abbey.

Painting and decorating apprentices then prepped the walls and added a base coat before art students, under the guidance of Alicia Gioia, brought the designs to life, painting them on the garden walls along with references to the new Northampton branding and visual identity. The apprentices then returned to add an anti-graffiti sealant.

Mark Bradshaw, curriculum manager for construction at Northampton College, said: “As the college in the community it’s really important to us to get involved in projects such as this and give back to our town centre.

“The work done to transform St Katherine’s Gardens is benefitting so many people in Northampton and we’re proud to have played our part in making the area more welcoming to visitors.”

The BID secured £10,000 of Lottery funding to pay for the work in St Katherine’s Gardens. Initial work involved the creation of new planters, bins and seating areas while plants used in the first phase of work were funded by Northampton Town Council.

New shrubs, flowers and trees were then planted earlier this year to give the park a fresh new look.

Mark Mullen, operations manager for Northampton Town Centre BID, said: “St Katherine herself demonstrated the values of spirit, boldness and resilience which are encapsulated within Northampton’s new brand identity and embedded into the DNA of the town.

“To capture that in this mural highlights the creativity of the students, who have done themselves and Northampton College proud. The end result is absolutely incredible and we are delighted with the outcome.

“The ongoing work to transform St Katherine’s Gardens has been a resounding success, helping to bring back an unloved corner of our town into a vibrant and welcoming place for everyone to enjoy.”

St Katherine’s Gardens was once the site of the 19th century church of St Katherine. It provides a walkway between the Bus Station and Horsemarket, and is neighboured by businesses on College Street, St Katherine’s Street and King Street.

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