It all comes down to money.
The Millennium Walkway costs £55,000 per year to maintain. Advertising on the Walkway will bring in £100,000 per year. We, as artists CANNOT compete with that!
Advertisers don’t want their shiny corporate image tainted with being associated with graffiti… let’s not take that too personally. We can’t share the space with them. BUT, we can share in some of the money that they’ll bring in to our beautiful city.
I’m pleased to say that Matt, Cath and Elaine from Cardiff Council, get it. They understand what we want for Cardiff – for it to be a place where everyone, no matter their financial or housing situation, their demographic or cultural background – everyone has a right to the spaces in this city.
We discussed the need for places where people can come together to paint, to gather socially and have real ownership of these spaces. The council have agreed to build us a new wall, somewhere safe, well-lit and central to Cardiff. They have also agreed to put a section on licence forms for building contractors, to legitimise painting on their temporary hoarding. They will also be securing permission for us to legally paint at skate parks and possibly building walls in these locations for us to paint.
On Monday I’ll be arranging to meet with Paul from Cardiff Council, to walk around the city centre and identify areas where we can paint legally. If not on walls, then on hoarding that the Council will put up for us. If anybody wants to join us on that walk around, or has ideas for suitable locations, please do let me know.
So although we didn’t ‘save’ our wall, we’ll be building a new one, and will transform Cardiff in the process. Thank you everyone who signed the petition – this is your city. I’ll keep the petition page open so I can keep you informed as things progress, because we now need to make sure these promises are kept.
Thank you also to Councillors Sarah Merry and Chris Weaver, Dan Wilson (Grassroots) and Oner Signs.