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SYMCA empowers community to make Wombwell Station vibrant and welcoming

A vibrant new artwork has been unveiled at Wombwell Station following a collaboration between the local council, South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) and the town’s community.

The project, supported by the Safer Streets Fund, forms part of a community rail initiative to bring more character and personality to South Yorkshire stations, helping them to become more welcoming, as well as providing Barnsley people with the chance to be involved in inspiring and uplifting artistic and cultural experiences.

SYMCA has previously collaborated with Community Rail Network members on a number of projects, including Bishop Line CRP and Northern’s Try the Train programme and working with the Penistone Line Partnership to install customer information screens in community spaces and other art projects at stations.

The brightly coloured artwork, shaped with input from young people, families and community groups, was created by artist Nikkie Whiston, and features the distinctive Wombwell ‘unicorn’ emblem, references to the Roly Poly Hill and Wishing Tree at Wombwell Park and the slogan ‘Together We Create’, aiming to capture the essence of Wombwell’s rich history and diverse community spirit.

The artwork was officially launched at Wombwell Station on Thursday 21 March where the Mayor of Barnsley, Councillor James Michael Stowe, was joined by local councillors, community members and representatives from SYMCA, Northern, British Transport Police, Network Rail and Community Rail Network. Attendees heard from those involved in the art project, as well as receiving a tour of the Wombwell Station Community Garden from the team of dedicated volunteers.

Cathrine Ashworth, community rail officer at SYMCA, said: “Smaller stations like this one are here to connect and serve the local community. It’s their station, so seeing them work together to develop such a creative and uplifting artwork and putting a real Wombwell stamp on the station has been great.

“We’re also keen to hear from anyone who would like to ‘adopt’ Wombwell Station and help it to become a community station, full of character and interest. There is so much potential at this charming station, surrounded by nature, and it would be a perfect canvas for a group to develop.”

Artist Nikki Whiston said: “I was excited to be asked to create a piece of art to be displayed at Wombwell Station. It was a lovely project to work on and I feel very proud to have my work displayed for the community to enjoy.”

Councillor Wendy Cain, cabinet spokesperson for Public Health and Communities, said: “It is wonderful to see how our residents of all ages have worked together to help produce this spectacular artwork. It is important our young people feel a sense of connection with their community, and I’m pleased so many people have played their part in the design of the beautiful mural, which sums up the spirit of Wombwell and its people.

“I hope this colourful new artwork makes everyone smile whenever they use the station and I encourage everyone to look out for it if they pass on the train.”

See a little glimpse of the day here.