Strikingly colourful murals have been unveiled in Collyhurst depicting the stories of Manchester’s Northern Gateway neighbourhood.
Nationally acclaimed street artists kELzO and Entise have brought their creativity to Collyhurst, giving a once popular but now run down parade of local shops an artistic makeover.
Paying homage to Collyhurst residents past and present, together with popular landmarks and locations, the South Church Parade mural is an eye-catching addition to the area.
Locals have taken to social media to celebrate the street art which stretches across shutters, a gable end and onto a separate building. It features boxing legend Mike Brodie and comedian Les Dawson alongside other characters who hail from the north Manchester suburb.
The artists had plenty to go at. Collyhurst was home to Manchester City footballers Colin Barlow and Stan Bowles; United’s European Cup winner Brian Kidd, currently assistant coach under Pep Guardiola at the Etihad; and Reds’ hard man and World Cup winner Nobby Stiles, who used to kick a ball round Angel Meadow as a kid.
To provide balance, the artists have painted into the mural wildlife seen in the neighbouring Irk valley and Sandhills areas, close to the ancient Collyhurst quarry that supplied the red sandstone for the Roman fort and Chetham’s Library.
Funded by Northwards Housing and Far East Consortium, the Collyhurst community artwork project took the artistic duo fourteen days.
Tony Brady, aka KELzO, is a keen artist and historian, fascinated by inner city regeneration and development. He has been tracking activity around Angel Meadow and Collyhurst and capturing the changing landscape through his photography.
He was delighted when he was asked to undertake the Collyhurst commission as it’s an area he is familiar with through growing up around the city centre.
“Manchester is changing rapidly, and I’m genuinely fascinated by the transformation”, says Tony.
“My true passion is Manchester history and the stories that can be told about areas such as Collyhurst, the Irk Valley and Angel Meadow. Bringing some of those stories to life through art is a great way to engage with the community and bring more people over to the businesses on South Church Parade.”
Collyhurst has been one of Manchester’s ‘Cinderella’ districts for more than a century. Its Victorian back-to-back housing terraces were swept away in the 1960s and replaced by unpopular high-rise flats.
Now it’s in the Northern Gateway, one of the largest residential-led regeneration projects in the UK, which aims to deliver up to 15,000 new homes across a range of tenures and housing types
The 20-year, £1 billion project is a joint venture between Manchester City Council and property developer Far East Consortium and aims to develop new and existing neighbourhoods as part of an extended city centre, with improved walkways, cycleways, a spectacular riverside park on the banks of the Irk and better public transport connections.