Legal Graffiti Walls To Be Trialled In Glasgow

Custom HOuse Quay tiger

Glasgow is set to trial legal graffiti walls, according to a new city council report.

Two council-owned properties in the city centre have been identified for use during the six-month trial, which will be led by two community arts organisations.

It is hoped the legal walls will provide an outlet for street artists while also eventually encouraging residents, businesses and organisations to explore the possibility of developing legal graffiti walls in other areas of the city.

The council’s graffiti removal service continues to target the removal of sectarian, homophobic, offensive, racist and explicit graffiti. But following the success of the council’s city centre mural trail, it is also hoped that a managed approach to street art can help revitalise urban spaces and create visually appealing areas for residents and visitors.

Councillor Ruairi Kelly, City Convener for Neighbourhood Services and Assets, believes the introduction of legal graffiti walls has the potential to support local artists while also creating a more positive city environment.

Councillor Kelly said: “Glasgow has a well-established reputation for street art and it’s a culture that frequently adds colour and vibrancy to our public spaces.

“Graffiti art versus vandalism is a subjective debate but it remains the case that offensive, bigoted graffiti will not be tolerated. We will be monitoring closely the impact of the pilot, including how this influences the number of complaints we receive in relation to graffiti.

“But with the pilot we are hoping to tap into the creativity of street artists in a way that enhances and improves our city’s environment. If the pilot is successful, it could see street artists making an important contribution to communities throughout the city.”

As part of the pilot programme, a working group is to be established that includes representation from the council, Glasgow Life and community art groups, Colourways and SWG3. The working group will develop it’s own terms of reference, which will guide how the pilot programme operates in practice.

Two community organisations have already approached the council about the possibility of being involved in the two trial walls – one at Custom House Quay by the Clyde Walkway and at Concert Square Car Park – but details have still to be confirmed..

During the pilot, the lead organisation will be responsible for maintaining the space they have been allocated and will make any decisions in relation to the art on display. Lead organisations will also a responsibility for reporting graffiti outwith the designated space.

Further information is available in the paper presented at the Environment and Liveable Neighbourhoods City Policy Committee on October 3, 2023, which can be found via this link.

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