The Grimsby Underground where graffiti is covered in street art

An infamous underground station in Grimsby has been transformed thanks to a street performer and volunteers.

Children from the West Marsh were invited to participate in the art project in the underpass connecting Haycroft Avenue to Lincoln Boulevard. It was a no-go zone due to the level of drug trafficking, poor lighting, antisocial behavior and lack of security.

It was often used by moped maniacs and frightened pedestrians who used the tube to get to shops and services on Cromwell Road. Now it’s a bright, eye-catching storyboard mural with the environment and community theme.

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It was created thanks to Lynsey Powles who designed images of characters from Grimsby’s West Marsh and life near the River Freshney. It was funded by the Safer Streets community project, which received funding from the Home Office.

Residents told Safer Streets organizers they would take much longer routes to places such as shops instead of using the underpass because they didn’t feel safe. Now CCTV cameras have been installed and the project group has cleaned it up, repainted and removed graffiti and then commissioned Lynsey to make it a brighter space.

The redesigned subway on Haycroft Avenue to Lincoln Boulevard

Councilor Ron Shepherd, Portfolio Holder for Safer and Stronger Communities, said the goal is to make West Marsh residents feel safer and more secure in their homes and to foster a sense of community. More CCTV cameras have been installed in crime and antisocial behavior hotspots in West Marsh.

Residents targeted by criminals and people who cause anti-social behavior are being visited to make their homes safer. This was done with part of the funding from the Home Office for the purchase and distribution of alarm systems, locks and security lighting.

Volunteers and project staff cleared alleyways, cleared the underpass and built a network of community champions. Flowers have been planted all over West Marsh.

Councilor Shepherd said: “I am very pleased with the new look of the underpass. It shows that with a little care and attention these spaces can become beautiful, clean and safe spaces.

“When the safer streets project in West Marsh got underway, residents were told they would do their best to avoid the underpass as it didn’t feel safe. We listened to those concerns and took action.

Images of the Freshney River drawn on the underpass between Haycroft Avenue and Lincoln Boulvard
Images of the Freshney River drawn on the underpass between Haycroft Avenue and Lincoln Boulvard

“The project group has installed additional CCTV in the area, removed the overgrown foliage, removed and repainted the graffiti, added additional lighting and commissioned a local street artist to liven up the underpass. I am very happy with the results and I hope that residents will now use the underpass and therefore feel safer.

“This shows what can be achieved with residents and local organizations are coming together. I would like to thank the residents of West Marsh, VANEL, Humberside Police, Equans and North East Lincolnshire Council for making this possible.”

One resident said: “It looks impressive. The security measures will help. I’m just glad they didn’t add a drawing of a stalemate on the roof and wrecked police cars, along with the nice drawings of the river.”


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