Great Yarmouth: Reprezent Project short-listed in BBC Radio Norfolk Make a Difference Awards

Reprezent Project mural in Great YarmouthMartin Giles/BBC

The team behind a string of giant murals created to help unite different communities of a seaside town has been nominated for an award.

Reprezent Project organises the murals, alongside workshops in Great Yarmouth.

Judges for BBC Radio Norfolk’s Make a Difference Awards chose it as a finalist, with the winner to be revealed next month.

Founder Ruben Cruz said through street art “we can express that Great Yarmouth is more than one kind community”.

Ruben Cruz

Mr Cruz launched the social enterprise in 2016 after arriving in the resort six years earlier as a 16-year-old from Portugal.

He said the project – which operates in one of England’s most deprived areas – was always open to all and worked with various groups including school children and refugees.

“Street art was always a way to express yourself,” said Mr Cruz.

“Great Yarmouth is a beautiful place for any nationality – any person – and that’s the way we express ourselves.

“That’s the beauty, as our projects have always got a legacy to everyone.”

Street artist Emo helping a school pupil at a spray painting workshop

Martin Giles/BBC

Eye-catching murals celebrating themes including nature and the town’s history have popped up across the town during the last few years thanks to the project.

However, its work was unexpectedly boosted in 2021 when renowned street artist Banksy left his mark on Great Yarmouth as part of his Great British Spraycation.

“We have so many people coming from different places to see Banksy, but also to see all the walls we’ve got with local and international artists,” he said.

“That will help to create a new attraction and bring footfall into Great Yarmouth.”

Mural on a wall in Great Yarmouth by the Reprezent

Davide De Almeida

Reprezent Project was one of more than 170 individual and organisations nominated by BBC Radio Norfolk listeners for the local Make a Difference Awards.

It was voted through as one of four finalists by a panel of five judges for the Together Award, which recognises those who help to bring groups of people together.

Reprezent Project mural in Great Yarmouth

Martin Giles/BBC

The listener who nominated Reprezent Project wrote: “They provide many community projects open to all families within one of the most deprived wards in the country at a time where many are struggling with the cost of living.

“Ruben and his team are the heart of arts and culture within our town and work tirelessly to make Great Yarmouth a town known for its art.”

The winners for the eight categories in the Make a Difference Awards will be revealed during a ceremony at St George’s Theatre in Great Yarmouth on Friday 14 September.

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