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Community gets on board with Belper Station artwork

A new community artwork designed to welcome passengers to the town of Belper and celebrate its heritage has been unveiled at the railway station.

The mosaic portrays the town’s rich heritage as part of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site, including Strutt’s Mill and the River Derwent, as well as the surrounding landscape including Heage Windmill.

With support from the Derwent Valley Line Community Rail Partnership (CRP), Belper Station Gardening Volunteers and East Midlands Railway, the project engaged more than 50 local people across 15 workshops led by local artist Richard Bett. Each participant worked on an A4 section of the overall design to make an impressive 4m wide mosaic which proudly welcomes passengers into Belper.

The artwork is made with offcuts of DecoMark, normally used to make road markings, and is an innovative way of using pieces of this durable product that would otherwise have ended up in landfill. It replaces a previous artwork by Belper artist Christine Thomas and is closely based on her design to honour her original idea.

At the unveiling event on Thursday 25 April, many of the volunteers who made a piece of the artwork joined artist Richard Bett and representatives from Belper Town Council, Community Rail Network, Derbyshire County Council, Derwent Valley Line CRP and East Midlands Railway, who provided funding for the project.

Artist Richard Bett said: “I’m so pleased to have saved the site of the original artwork and this re-interpretation will be there for a long time using these more durable materials. It has been so enjoyable to have involved the local community who have worked together with all their different skills to create this work.”

Councillor Trevor Ainsworth, chair of Derwent Valley Line CRP, said: “It’s great to see such a colourful and unique piece of community art. We are very grateful to all the participants, funders and partners involved in the project.”

Paul Webster, regions support manager at Community Rail Network, said: “We are really pleased to see the new mural now in place at the station and greeting visitors to Belper. Railway stations play an important part of life within their community, so the enthusiasm and creativity of people from the town, who care about their station and the welcome it gives is very satisfying and a project we are happy to have been able to fund.”

The impressive mosaic forms part of the variety of projects that Belper Station Gardening Volunteers have initiated since they adopted the station over 12 years ago. The group maintain six garden areas around the station by implementing a sustainable and eco-friendly approach which includes managing a wildflower meadow. Belper Station gardening volunteers are part of the Transition Belper initiative and local people who wish to join the Belper Station gardening volunteers can find out more by contacting

Keep up to date with future news, projects and events from the Derwent Valley Line CRP via their website.