In celebration of National Poetry Day (Thursday 7th October) a colourful new artwork has been unveiled in Manchester featuring the words of Longsight-born wordsmith and BBC Radio Manchester presenter, David Scott, House by Urban Splash, and children from the New Islington Free School.
David – who is also the frontman of alternative hip-hop band ARGH KiD – wrote the poem following a project with pupils, delving into what makes Manchester’s newest district of New Islington ‘home’. Their completed piece is a beautiful new poem which celebrates the best of the city – signing off with the line that ‘the heart of MancUnians is U”.
Talking about the project David explained: “I’m so honoured and proud to have created this piece with such talented young people.
“This group has sacrificed so much this last year, and I really believe that creative outlets can help them as we navigate our way out of the pandemic. This project allowed them to focus on the positive elements of their surroundings, and what parts of this awesome city of ours make them feel safe and at home.
“Writing down or drawing out our feelings is wonderful therapy and some of the lines the kids came up with are award winning and I’m proud to sit them alongside my own words as we unveil this special piece to the world.”
The arts class was part of a wider regeneration project at New Islington which is focusing on the positive difference the neighbourhood is making to everyone who lives, works or plays there. Just a stone’s throw from Manchester city centre, New Islington – which is being created by House by Urban Splash – has already earned its reputation as an independent thriving new quarter for the city, offering an eclectic range of food, entertainment and workspaces.
The area is now an established community filled with family homes, apartments and affordable and social housing aligned with independent businesses, places to exercise and its very own marina – a tourist attraction in itself. Additionally, there is also the New Islington Metrolink stop, the OFSTED outstanding free school and a health centre.
Added New Islington Free School headteacher Tabitha Smith: “We are big fans of the arts and giving our pupils the chance to work with great Manchester talent such as David.
“In a year in which they have sacrificed so much, I was delighted to be able to give them a fun project to work on – one which has inevitably evoked so much pride and made them see so much good in our surroundings here. The finished prose is beautiful and says everything that we believe to be true about New Islington and Manchester.
“I am delighted to preserve our students’ creative legacy and showcase this poem on our gates; thank you and congratulations to all who were involved.”
Concluded Toby Brown of House by Urban Splash: “New Islington is a bustling, vibrant and exciting neighbourhood – and a wonderful place to call home. The pupils at the school are an incredible part of this community and we are really pleased with the work that’s on display; we look forward to showing it to more prospective residents as they view our newest homes here.”