Scotstoun eyesore gets makeover thanks to top graffiti artist and local teenagers

By Ellen Thomson at

An eyesore bridge has been transformed with a mural by a well-known Glasgow graffiti artist and local young people.

Balmoral Street Bridge in Scotstoun was a magnet for vandalism and anti-social behaviour – but it’s now been given a new lease of life thanks to a 32ft long, cutting-edge artwork.

Balmoral Street Bridge

CAPTION: Councillor Michael Cullen is pictured with some of the young people who completed the mural as well as Jordan McGrotty and Arthur McNeaney of DRC Youth Project, representatives of the Heart of Scotstoun Community Centre and Karen Venables of Community Safety Glasgow

Professional graffiti artist Danny McDermott worked with teenagers from Dumbarton Road Corridor (DRC) Youth Project.

Together they designed and created the large graffiti mural costing almost £6500 to enhance the bridge’s appearance.

Ben Harris, 15, said: “We’re all proud of the mural and it was good that we could put our names on it.

“Dan was cool and we learned a lot from him.

“We worked on it over a couple of months and I’d like to do it again.

“Sometimes older people are worried when they see young folk in the street – even when we’re just walking along. It’s good that they can see us doing something good for the community.”

Lee Kerr, 15, added: “The mural’s pretty nice and it was good getting to do something like that. Getting involved stops you just sitting in playing computer games.”

Broken glass, weeds, overgrown shrubbery and litter were removed from the bridge before remedial work and painting was carried out on the steelwork.

Local young people also took part in the clean-up to make way for the mural which has been painted on to four large metal panels mounted on the inside of the bridge where it can be enjoyed by walkers and cyclists.

The design features the city skyline with iconic landmarks and incorporates elements of the local landscape such as waves to represent the River Clyde and the Scotstoun Community Council logo.

Partners including Community Safety Glasgow, Scotstoun Community Council, Glasgow City Council, DRC Youth Project and Sustrans teamed up to tackle issues on the bridge which is part of the Glasgow to Loch Lomond cycle route.

Local businesses, R&R Fabrications and Maclean & Speirs Industrial Painters, were also keen to pitch in – carrying out work at much-reduced rates to help the community.

The street art project was created to inspire and involve local young people in improving their neighbourhood.

Councillor Michael Cullen said: “It was great to see local young people get immersed in the project and focus their energy on transforming the bridge.

“I’m sure the mural will be something they’ll take real pride in and ownership of.

“The bridge has been a trouble hotspot in the past, but this new mural promises to be a bright, eye-catching addition to the local area.”

Graffiti artist Dan has worked on several Glasgow murals including the Gorbals’ Vampire and the Scottie Dog in Maryhill.

He said: “Working on graffiti murals is very engaging for teenagers as it’s seen as a bit edgy.

“The Scotstoun group has been really interested and enthusiastic.

“We worked on drawings and canvases together before finalising the design and spraying it on to the metal boards mounted on the bridge.

“They are all very proud of their work and were surprised to find out that you can make a living from street art.

“I explained that I went to college and studied photography and art and design – so you can make a living from street art, but you need to study first.

Glasgow City Council’s Integrated Grant Fund contributed £2,500 to the project and the local area partnership contributed £1698 in grants.

As well as completing the mural, the young people also tackled a sponsored 5K to raise funds for the community centre and helped pack food parcels for local residents.