Sunderland schoolchildren put new Wear Crossing in the picture

Pupils from Barbara Priestman Academy, present artwork to the New Wear Crossing site in Sunderland.

Pupils from Barbara Priestman Academy, present artwork to the New Wear Crossing site in Sunderland.

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Students from Sunderland visited the city’s new bridge to deliver their own works of art to the project team.

A group of young people from Barbara Priestman Academy designed and then created four paintings of bridges, which are to be displayed around the perimeter fence of the construction site in Pallion.

Pupils from Barbara Priestman Academy, present artwork to the New Wear Crossing site in Sunderland.

Pupils from Barbara Priestman Academy, present artwork to the New Wear Crossing site in Sunderland.

All 120 pupils at the school got involved by talking about their own bridge ideas and then set about illustrating what the New Wear Crossing might look like.

The drawings were then digitally captured on tablets, before some of the students split into groups to bring them to life on huge boards for the community to admire.

Farrans Construction and Victor Buyck Steel Construction, which have come together to form FVB Joint Venture to build the bridge on behalf of Sunderland City Council, provided the school with the materials. The students then did the rest.

David Fudge, Art Teacher at Barbara Priestman Academy, said: “The students found it a great deal of fun, especially being able to create the paintings on such a huge scale, with really big paintbrushes.

The students found it a great deal of fun

David Fudge

“It was a great project because we used a number of different skills to bring the paintings to life, so a lot of pupils could get involved. One of the best things was going to site though. Seeing the bridge actually being built is really exciting.”

Student, Connor Lockhart, 19, from Grindon, said: “Bridges are great because they help to connect people. It’s been a great project to work on.”

And, Eve Leadbitter, 17, from Ryhope, said: “I have always had a fascination with mythical creatures so when I was asked to design a bridge I went for something unique by adding a dragon design.”

Coun Harry Trueman, Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “The pupils have done a tremendous job in creating their own imaginative bridge designs, which the people of Sunderland will be able to admire.

“It’s wonderful to see young people enthused and involved in the city’s new bridge because this is going to be part of their future. Maybe it will inspire some to follow careers in construction, design and engineering.”

And FVB’s Community Engagement Manager, Brigid McGuigan, said the paintings would take pride of place around the site.

She said: “The pupils have done a great job in creating bridges of different styles and themes, with an abundance of colour. Seeing their enthusiasm on site was wonderful too. They are a credit to their school.”

The New Wear Crossing will span the River Wear between Wessington Way in Castletown and European Way in Pallion.