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From Keighley News, March 2nd 2023
Written by Alistair Shand

STREET art celebrating a Keighley neighbourhood has been unveiled.

The work, a salute to the Knowle Park area of the town, has gone on show outside Holycroft Primary School.

It was created by the Keighley youth service boys' group, based at the Bangladeshi Community Association, as part of a six-week collaboration with Ilkley Literature Festival.

The aim of the project was to showcase what makes the area unique, and what inspires pride amongst its younger generation.

As part of the initiative, groups of up to 20 young people worked in sessions with spoken word performer, Saju Ahmed, to explore what the area meant to them and their identity.

As a result, a piece of spoken word, This Is Home, was produced.

Participants – working with artist Tom Warrington – then used the themes and their conversations to design the piece of street art, which features local businesses, landmarks and characters.

Both the poem and artwork are now on public display on the railings of Holycroft Primary School, facing Kensington Street.

A community party was held at the school's family learning hub, when the mural was unveiled and the young people's achievements celebrated.

The event included food, a DJ and a live street art demonstration, which saw one of the school’s benches transformed into a work of art.

Former Keighley MP, and the town's Labour parliamentary candidate, John Grogan was on hand for the ceremonial unveiling of the This Is Home mural, and he presented a framed version of the artwork to each of the young people involved.

Mini zines featuring the spoken word piece and artwork from the project were also created for the event, and copies are now available to view at Keighley Library in North Street.

Emma Rochford, the project organiser for Ilkley Literature Festival, was delighted with the success of the venture.

She added: "The celebratory event was a really lovely way to round off the project and mark the achievements of the young people involved.

"It was brilliant to see everyone who’d played a part in the project coming together – such as the youth service, the artists, funder Bradford Council Neighbourhoods Service and of course the young people themselves.

"Special thanks must also go to Holycroft Primary School for being so supportive and for giving the artwork a home.

"We hope people enjoy coming to see the piece and that it inspires more creative thinking!"