Morecambe artists join forces to give Morrisons former Frontierland fencing a major makeover

Artists from Morecambe will be installing more than 15 new pieces of art along the 200m fencing over the next few weeks, in a bid to brighten up what has been described as Morecambe's "biggest blot".

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 10:03 am
Updated Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 11:29 am

Morrisons supermarket - which owns the former Frontierland site on Morecambe Prom - has recently come under fire for failing to maintain and improve the look of its perimeter fence.

In a letter to Morrisons, which has a store behind the site in Hilmore Way, Morecambe Town Councillor Jim Pilling said the business had a moral obligation to improve the look of the blue fencing.

Coun Pilling said that the campaigning seemed to have had some success, with the worst of the fence panels being replaced.

Morecambe artist Melody Treasure's new artwork alongside Bob Pickergill's Thora Hird.

He also asked Beki Melrose, from Morecambe's Good Things Collective - formerly The Exchange Creative Community CIC - to help facilitate and coordinate the new artwork.

Beki agreed, saying the aim was to reconnect the West End with the rest of Morecambe, and rallied ten local artists who are now busy creating 15 new pieces that will be installed over the next few weeks.

Some have already been erected, joining Bob Pickersgill's Thora Hird artwork, and another piece by Melody Treasure.

Coun Pilling had also asked Morrisons to pledge funding for artwork to be installed along the 200m fencing.

Several panels of blue fencing are currently being repaired or replaced.

Beki said: "We want to celebrate the creative community that lives here and are keen to ensure the narrative of the works is positive but I also hope this act brings awareness to the fact that this is not okay for Morrisons to be leaving the site the way it has been.

"It has split the town - cutting off the West End more or less.

"Ultimately, we hope this endeavour will start to see it reconnected by the growing number of artworks - a project that is reconnecting people and place.

"We hope to send a message that 'we the people' can act and make a difference. Finding ways to use the skills we have - whatever they may be. For us - it's our creativity!"

Bob Pickersgill's Thora Hird artwork was the first to be installed.

Beki said that whilst the responsibility for the site and its boundary is the landowners', there comes a point where "you have to seize the day and stop waiting for things to happen or someone else to do something and take action instead."

She is now hoping Morrisons will offer some wider investment in the local creative community to recognise the positive action and community approach that has come from this.

She added: "We hope the art will bring some joy and soften the vastness and neglect the site imposes on the people that live here and for those that come and visit - it is not good for the town in any way.

"We would like to thank Jayne and Gareth at Bay Wood Services for supporting us by providing panels for this first batch of artworks but most of all the artists that are each working voluntarily with a shared love of the area and for the people that live here."

Morecambe Town Councillor Jim Pilling next to the blue fencing.

She is also inviting anyone who would like to create a panel to get involved by emailing [email protected]

Coun Pilling said: "The response has been fantastic.

"Morrisons are yet to pledge funding for the artwork - or give their permission to use their fence - but the 200m long fence - right on the seafront in a very visible position for residents and visitors, will start to look much more cheerful."

Morrisons has been contacted for comment.

Bob Pickersgill, left, and Coun Jim Pilling, with the artwork by, from left: Emma Wareing, Charlotte Done, Melody Treasure and Bob Pickersgill.