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Gainsborough Young People’s Mosaics

Initiated and run by

The project was initiated by Lincolnshire County Council in partnership with West Lindsey District Council and the Trent Vale Landscape Partnership (TVLP) Project.

Funding sources

  • Historic Environment Team, Lincolnshire County Council - £5000
  • Economic Regeneration, Lincolnshire county Council - £2000
  • Heritage Lottery Fund, through TVLP - £1000
  • Environment Agency - £50 (fee for application was waived)
  • West Lindsey District Council - £175 for cost of Planning Application


Gainsborough - making mosaics. Photo: Lincs CC.

To give young people from the Valley Youth Centre an opportunity to learn more about the heritage of Gainsborough, to gain skills and knowledge about art, design and materials, and to create something for the community by designing and making a series of mosaics for public display in Gainsborough.

Work done and results

This project was a partnership project involving Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) Historic Environment Officer, West Lindsey District Council (WLDC) Arts Development Officer and the Valley Youth Centre at the Trent Valley Academy (TVA). It is part of the wider Trent Vale Landscape Partnership (TVLP) Project which aims to conserve and enhance the natural and cultural identity of the Trent Vale, and to celebrate the communities, habitats and heritage that make the area so distinctive. It is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) with additional support coming from partners, volunteers and community groups.

Gainsborough midget sub mosaic. Photo: Lincs CC.

The young people who attend the Valley Youth Centre at the TVA were Year 10s and 11s (15-16 year olds) who were struggling in mainstream lessons at school. Every year the young people undertake a project called XL which has to be something which benefits the wider community. In 2010 it was decided that, with the support of staff from the Youth Centre, LCC, WLDC and professional artists, a series of mosaics would be designed and made by the young people. The design of the mosaics would be based on the heritage of Gainsborough and the River Trent.

Mosaic artists were invited to tender for the work, and two were shortlisted. The young people voted for which artists they would like to work at a workshop held in February 2010.

Over March and April 2010 a total of 23 young people, during a series of workshops, designed and made the mosaics, which are now complete and have been installed on the flood defences on the Riverside Walk at Chapel Staith. This is a place that the young people know well and would like to see their mosaics installed for all to see. It is also a major access point from the town to the Riverside Walk and the River Trent itself, and has been for hundreds of years, and is therefore a very appropriate place to celebrate Gainsborough’s fascinating heritage, and of the River Trent.

Gainsborough Riverside mosaic wall. Photo: Lincs CC.

This project has been an opportunity for these young people to learn more about the heritage of Gainsborough, to gain skills and knowledge about art, design and materials, and to create something for the community. They are justifiably proud of what they have achieved.

Lessons learned

This was a very rewarding project, and it is great to see the mosaics on public display.

Anyone planning a project like this needs to be aware of formal permissions that are needed for installation of public art. In this case permission was needed from the Environment Agency and Planning Permission had to be obtained from WLDC.

Gainsborough logos

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