Minions, monsters and ladybirds - the ingenious tyre creations helping make Sunderland smarter

An ingenious scheme that turns recycled tyres into art is inflating the image of Sunderland.

Sunday, 4th August 2019, 09:50 am
Some of the tyre creations

Minions, monsters, ladybirds, frogs and teacups are among the fantastic rubber creations. It is helping make 2019 a Goodyear for the city; giving it a lively, rather than a tyred look.

The tyre initiative was organised by Sunderland’s Business Improvement District (BID) as part of its campaign to keep the city centre tidy and make it more vibrant and colourful. It hasn’t let anyone down.

Over a three-week period, three different groups of students were involved with the work on the project. The first group spent a week litter picking, weeding and preparing the soil at Little Villliers Street.

Thanks a Minion. Stuart here was created from recycled tyres.

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The second and third groups then arrived to assist the work of Sunderland-based artist, Jessica Brown, transforming the tyres not only into quirky works of art, but also into very creative planters containing a variety of flora.

The work also serves to acknowledge the importance of the car industry to the city.

The tyres were provided by the Borough Road branch of Kwik Fit.

Sharon Appleby, head of business operations at Sunderland BID, says the scheme was a really challenging but fun project to carry out.

This ladybird planter is among the new works created with recycled tyres.

She said: “We hope that people will look at them and not only enjoy the plants, but that it will also give them something to smile about.

“It was a fantastic project which saw three organisations working very closely together which has had a really positive result for the city.”

The initiative was also supported by a number of local businesses including Darke Cycles on John Street and Thoburn’s Plants, Trees and Shrubs on Wear Street.

The project is connected to Sunderland City Council’s Cleaner Greener City initiative.

Ribbit! This frog is among the stunning new planters created from recycled tyres in the city centre.

The scheme has an additional £460,000 worth of funding to carry out a number of measures.

The initiative aims to see more environmental officers on the ground, the introduction of specialist cleaning equipment and more enforcement activity in a bid to tackle litter and waste storage issues across the city.