A HUGE new piece of public art has been unveiled in Urmston town centre.

The Urmston Mural, celebrating the 70th anniversary of the NHS, is now on display in Higher Road Urmston.

The bespoke mural was unveiled on Thursday by Kate Green, MP for Stretford and Urmston. It marks 70 years since Trafford gave birth to the NHS, with Park Hospital (now Trafford General) becoming Britain's first NHS hospital in 1948.

David Mackereth, Hon Secretary of the Urmston Partnership, came up with the idea to mark the occasion in Urmston.

He enlisted the help of Urmston in Bloom to organise the celebratory event and mark the milestone by creating something truly unique.

The Urmston Mural, opposite the Barking Dog pub in the town centre, will remain on public display for the next 12 months. But both the Urmston Partnership and Urmston in Bloom are hopeful that its popularity will lead to it becoming a permanent fixture in the town.

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The mural was designed by Manchester-based photographic artist Neil Roland. The artistic director of the project was Kevin Murphy, who worked with students from Urmston Grammar, Wellacre Academy and St Anthony’ Catholic College, to create an impressive piece of art that reflects Urmston’s vibrancy and sense of community.

Neil says: “I was approached by David, who had seen some of my work at exhibitions, and was commissioned to design a mural that reflected the local area and incorporated Trafford General, formerly Park Hospital.

“I was inspired by the local architecture and landmarks of the town, so designed a mural that fitted Urmston, yet in my own style. It is the first time that I’ve created designs to be interpreted by others, thus forgoing my usual total control of the artwork, but the students involved have done a great job.

"The Mural will no doubt encourage interest from locals, who in turn will hopefully feel pride in their environment.”

David added: “The Urmston Mural is a stunning piece of art. It is reflective of the town centre and in particular Trafford General, and is something the whole community can be proud of.

"It looks great and it was a pleasure being part of such a special project to celebrate 70 years of the NHS.”

Kate Green, MP for Stretford and Urmston, said: “I was honoured to officially unveil the Urmston Mural. It really is superb and such a great, community-inspired initiative to commemorate when Aneurin Bevan launched the NHS at Park Hospital on July 5, 1948.”

The project was supported by many local businesses including Barking Dog, Cheeky Cherub, Chorlton Scaffolding, EBR Designs, Market 41, NFIS Electrical & Security and Trafford Housing Unit.