An eye-catching initiative to promote Hartlepool as a tourist destination has been highly commended at a regional awards ceremony, recognising the work of two former graphic design students from Cleveland College of Art and Design (CCAD).
The Hartlepool Railway Station Artwork and Coast Project received the accolade in the Visitor Information Provider of the Year category at the recent North East England Tourism Awards 2017.
The project – the only one from the Tees Valley to be shortlisted for an award – has seen the installation at the town’s railway station of 12 large wall-mounted artwork boards depicting attractions around the town, alongside a special information point that plays a video featuring unique aerial footage of the local coastline.
The station artwork boards, designed by CCAD graduates Abigail Taylor and Owen Smith, feature landmarks such as the National Museum of the Royal Navy, the Heugh Battery Museum, Summerhill Country Park and Hartlepool Marina.
Freelance artist Abigail Taylor, said: “Owen and I wanted to portray a colourful picture of Hartlepool at its best. The 1930’s to 50’s were not just the heyday of railway posters, but sometimes considered the golden age of advertising and graphic art in general.
“Owen and I are absolutely thrilled to see our work on show and we hope local people and visitors to the town alike will enjoy seeing the twelve designs for many years to come.”
The designs for the boards were selected following a competition arranged with CCAD and Hartlepool Borough Council, and have replaced posters that had been in place since the 2010 Tall Ships Races.
Richard Harrison, Senior Regeneration Officer with Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “With up to 500,000 passengers a year passing through the railway station, it offers a fantastic opportunity to showcase Hartlepool to a huge audience.
“The challenge was to convert the station into a tourism and marketing hub providing not only information about rail services but also about the main tourism attractions within the Borough.”
The Hartlepool Railway Station Artwork and Coast Project is a partnership involving Hartlepool Borough Council, Cleveland College of Art and Design, Northern Rail, Grand Central, Network Rail, the Headland and Harbour Coastal Community Team, the Seaton Carew Coastal Community Team, the Friends of Hartlepool Railway Station and artist Suzie Devey.
Councillor Kevin Cranney, Chair of Hartlepool Borough Council’s Regeneration Services Committee, said: “The project is an example of partnership working at its best. I would like to thank all parties on coming together in such a positive way to promote Hartlepool as a visitor destination.
“Hartlepool is a fantastic town with some great attractions and by making more people aware of this we have an opportunity to boost the visitor economy which currently supports 1,900 jobs and generates £148 million of expenditure annually.”
Prints of the railway station artwork boards and 2018 artwork calendars can be purchased at Hartlepool Art Gallery in Church Square.