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Fundraiser launched to have local artists bring colour to Horsforth

A woman is crowdfunding online to brighten up Horsforth by having the area’s street utility boxes painted by local artists.

Sascha Despotova, 27, is hoping to raise £2000 to fund the painting of 10 boxes by Horsforth creatives.

The full-time finance worker was inspired by similar initiatives that have been successful in Chapel Allerton and Meanwood in north Leeds.

Sascha said: “I came across the street art initiatives in Meanwood and Chapel Allerton and I absolutely loved the idea.

“I think in these daunting times when we we’re flooded with bad news, it’s such a source of joy and inspiration to see something new and colourful and painted by local people.”

The 10 street utility boxes will have unique designs painted on them, each of which will be chosen by commissioned artists.

Sascha says she has already been approached by multiple painters expressing an interest in the project.

So far, the online fundraiser has amassed £85 and is generating strong interest on social media.

Commenting on a Facebook post about the project, one Horsforth resident said: “Love this idea. Really looking forward to seeing this.”

Another posted: “Surprised to be the first donation but really hope you make it. Love this idea. Let local artists shine!”

Some on Facebook were concerned by the £200 per utility box price tag.

However, Sascha says this fee is necessary to cover the materials, time and effort required to produce high quality street art.

Yorkshire Voice Sascha is fundraising to have 10 street utility boxes in Horsforth painted

Sascha said: “When I first set up the idea many people seemed enthusiastic. Naturally there have been some worries and suspicion over my motivations, but I’ve been very open about my intentions.

“This kind of initiative is so uplifting and it will be so nice to have a daily reason to smile.”

Becci Erbillur-Gray, co-founder of Meanwood Street Art, said: “We used crowdfunding to commission artists to design and paint street art in June this year.

“We raised over £2000 and so far have worked with over 20 local artists. Through our social media platforms we have also engaged with over 750 residents and the feedback we have received has been so positive – residents of Meanwood are so happy to see art work around the community

“There are similar initiatives in Chapel Allerton, Bramley and the city centre, and I think the idea would be a great initiative for Horsforth.”

What do you think?