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Gloucestershire Business News

Artistic proposal for Cheltenham eyesore

An eyesore alleyway could soon be transformed by an eye-catching new mural which reflects Cheltenham's rich history of horse racing.

The side wall of The Famous On The Prom has become a hotspot for unsightly graffiti tagging making the area look "run down".

Owner of the menswear tailoring shop Keith Graham has chosen a creative way of deterring the vandals from targeting the Grade II listed building.

He wants artist Margot De Nadaillac to create a mural featuring three galloping white horses, a dancer and flowers.

He has applied to Cheltenham Borough Council for permission to paint it on the side of 26 - 32 Promenade.

"Despite being a Grade II listed building, the alleyway between The Famous and Costa Coffee that leads to the rear of Copa Bar is a hotspot for tagging," said the application.

"After numerous attempts to clean it off his building; the owner, Keith Graham, turned to Cheltenham BID for help. Heath Gunter, the former Chief Executive, contacted the Cheltenham Paint Festival to see if we could be of assistance.

"Murals painted by us in the town have historically been left alone by the taggers, who seem to prefer a blank canvas."

The design would be created as part of the festival, which is due to run on July 27 and 28 and will see street artists from around the world creating large-scale public artworks at sites across town.

Spectators can observe them at work by following a free, five-mile arts trail around Cheltenham.

Margot is a French born artist who previously worked in equestrian tourism and has a passion for nature. She is a self taught painter who has and has worked all over the world.

In his application Mr Graham said he shares Margot's passion for horses and requested she include them in the design to reflect Cheltenham's rich history of horse racing.

If given the nod, the mural will be painted between July 22-29 using standard masonry paints and an electric scissor lift.

The area will be temporarily fenced off but there will still be access for pedestrians, buggies and wheelchairs if required.

A statement by the council's heritage experts said: "Having spoken with all the owners of the local businesses in the area, the unilateral consensus was that a mural can only enhance the area.

"With many shops closed down and the problem of 'tagging' in the alleyway, the area was starting to look run-down.

"A mural would lift the area, remove the tagging problem and give visitors and locals alike a beautiful scene with references to the town to look at rather than a tagged alleyway."

The council is due to determine the application by August 27.

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