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Platform paintings: Annabelle Shields, aged 14, shows Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden MP the portrait she created for Radlett station's platform gallery
Platform paintings: Annabelle Shields, aged 14, shows Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden MP the portrait she created for Radlett station's platform gallery

Press release -

Culture Secretary sees Radlett station transformed into community art gallery

Over two dozen paintings by local artists are now on permanent display at Radlett station for Thameslink passengers to enjoy as they return to rail travel.

The Rt Hon Oliver Dowden MP, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, visited the station on Friday [3 September] to meet some of the talented contributors and view their work.

The installations were funded by Thameslink’s parent company Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), who have commissioned over 200 community artworks as part of their network-wide, multimillion-pound station improvement programme.

The 23 paintings on Radlett’s Platform 2 are by ten professional and amateur artists, ranging in age from teenagers to pensioners. The four large works on the entrance ramp from the car park, based on historical maps of the area, are by four-to-16-year-old members of local Girlguiding groups.

All the artists who contributed were recruited through local community groups by community and environmental charity Groundwork East, who are working on art and landscaping projects at 19 Thameslink and Great Northern stations.

Oliver Dowden said: "It was great to launch a new artwork display by local artists at Radlett station. This is part of a project by Govia Thameslink and Groundwork and I am thrilled that the Hertsmere artists I met in Radlett now have their work displayed for all to enjoy at the station."

Helen Lack, a widely-exhibited Radlett-based artist specialising in large abstracts and semi-abstract landscapes, provided three paintings. She said: “I feel very proud to be part of this project at Radlett station. Thank you for the opportunity. My inspiration is from the vision of colour - images are fragments inspired by daily situations and locations.”

Rebecca Huggins, Landscape Architect for Groundwork East, said “It’s been a pleasure working with so many local artists and community groups to create these wonderful displays. Bringing people together to create something for the benefit of their local community, and improving a place is what Groundwork thrives on doing. We hope this brings joy and pride to those passing through Radlett station.”

Tom Moran, Managing Director for Thameslink and Great Northern, said: “Across our network we’ve commissioned over 200 works by local artists to make stations more attractive for our passengers, and more valuable assets for the communities we serve. These vibrant and inspiring paintings do just that. It’s amazing that this small town is home to so much artistic talent, and we’re very grateful to all the contributors. They have all done Radlett proud.”

Ends

Notes to editors

About Groundwork East

Groundwork East is part of the Groundwork Trust, a national network of charities mobilising practical community action against poverty and for the environment across the UK.

For more information about Groundwork East see https://www.groundwork.org.uk/hubs/east/

Groundwork East is managing landscaping and community art projects at 19 Thameslink and Great Northern stations as part of a network-wide improvement programme by the train operators’ parent company Govia Thameslink Railway. Another regional branch of the Trust, Groundwork London, is working at another 19 stations.

About GTR’s wider station improvement programme

GTR’s network-wide, multimillion-pound improvement programme involves over 1,000 projects, many suggested by local passenger and community groups, at more than 250 stations. While we’re working hard to achieve the punctuality and reliability our passengers rightly expect, we want them to know we are with them all the way and making their stations better places to pass through.

The vast number and range of improvements can be described under three themes:

1. Giving many stations a better ambience by redecorating, planting and installing artwork, often with substantial input from the local community

2. Making stations work better for passengers, improving comfort and safety with new waiting rooms and shelters, seating, lighting, information screens, defibrillators for public use, and accessibility schemes

3. Making stations more sustainable, with schemes such as electric vehicle charging points, secure facilities for cyclists, rainwater retention systems, and even bee gardens.

We’ve created dedicated web pages where passengers and local communities can get updates on what’s happening at their station. They can be found at:

At Radlett, improvements in addition to the community art display include landscaping, new seats, a ticket machine canopy and toilet refurbishment.

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For more information, contact the press office on 0203 750 2031.

Govia Thameslink Railway

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) operates Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express services as follows:

  • Thameslink – cross-London services between Bedford/Peterborough/Cambridge and Brighton/Horsham/Littlehampton/East Grinstead, and between Luton/St Albans and Sutton/Wimbledon/Rainham; plus services between London and Sevenoaks
  • Great Northern – services between London and Welwyn, Hertford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn
  • Southern – services between London and the Sussex coast (Brighton, Worthing, Eastbourne, Bognor Regis, Hastings) and parts of Surrey, Kent and Hampshire (Ashford International, Southampton, Portsmouth)
  • Gatwick Express – fast, non-stop direct services between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria (currently suspended during the pandemic)

www.southernrailway.comwww.thameslinkrailway.comwww.gatwickexpress.comwww.greatnorthernrail.com

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