Scottish city set to trial legal graffiti walls

Two council-owned properties have been identified for use during the trial, which will last six months.

Councillors say they hope the legal walls will provide an outlet for street artists whilst encouraging residents and businesses to explore the possibility of developing legal graffiti walls in other areas of the city.

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Councillor Ruari Kelly, city convenor for neighbourhood services and assets, said the introduction of legal graffiti walls had the potential to support local artists whilst also creating a more positive city environment.

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.”

In a report to the council’s Environment and Liveable Neighbourhoods City Policy Committee, two potential legal grafitti sites were identified for the trial.

The sites, both owned by Glasgow City Council, are Concert Hall car park (north side) and Custom House Quay in Clydeside.

The trial is set to be led by two community arts organisations, and will also involve a working group comprising of the council, Glasgow Life, community art groups, Colourways and SWG3.

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The report outlines that the council’s graffiti removal service targets the removal of sectarian, homophobic, offensive, racist and explicit graffiti.

It also acknowledges the recent success of the council’s city centre mural trail (see below) and hopes that a managed approach to street art can help revitalise urban spaces.

The National: A mural dedicated to Scots legend Billy Connolly at Osborne StreetA mural dedicated to Scots legend Billy Connolly at Osborne Street (Image: Glasgow Mural Trail)

Kelly continued: “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.”

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