The Tin Shed Theatre Co is just one of many local organisations benefiting from Gwent Police’s Safer Street fund. The fund awarded by the Home Office allows police forces to work in greater collaboration with the local community to reduce crime and reoffending.
The support provided by Gwent Police has been used by the theatre company to create a permanent art installation at their new base , The Place on Bridge Street, Newport.
The art work, by Newport artist Consumer Smith, was a collaboration between company founder George Harris and the artist Consumer Smith.
Located on the door to the Old Ritzy's nightclub on North Street, the art work is inspired by the late Lynette Webbe, a well-known Pill community champion.
Ahead of the buildings official opening and the artworks unveiling on Saturday 7 May, Inspector Shaun Conway said:
“Working with local businesses and groups is a core part of how we keep the communities of Gwent safe.
“Tin Shed is just one example of how we’re making a real difference across Gwent.
“Art can bring people together, the hope is that this mural acts a message across Gwent that by everyone working together we can continue to build society that is safe for all.”
George Harris, Tin Shed Theatre Co Company Director said:
"Lynette would often say ‘you're all bloody fantastic’ the quote we've chosen for the work, she would say this to anyone who would have the pleasure of spending time with her. Known as the 'Cobweb Shaker', Lynette brought joy, light and a positive energy to anyone she met. She was instrumental in Tin Shed's launching of The Lynette Webbe Skill share Scheme that supports people out of work and education to take up paid training in the creative industries and inspired the creation of The Public Theatre Co. A company of creatives for anyone and everyone who wants to join.
“The design of the artwork came from our research into negative spaces, and that a lot of antisocial behaviour happens in locations that look run down and closed away, either through disrepair, design and then subsequently, an attitude. The doors to the nightclub had become one of these spaces, and we wanted to explore a project with Gwent Police that worked towards changing attitudes and behaviours to outdoor spaces through the installation of positive and impactful visual art, and the concept for this artwork was born"
This public art project forms part of Tin Shed Theatre Co's The People are the City, funded by Arts Council Wales, Newport City Homes, Newport City Council, TGP Cymru and Gwent Police. To find out more visit www.theplacenewport.com
Since April 2021, Gwent Police, in partnership with the local community have introduced additional street lighting, digital door bells, signage and other measures to make the streets of Gwent safer.