Does your child love drawing? Barons Quay is asking local children to get involved in a new arts initiative, which promises to bring colour and positivity to Northwich in the form of street murals representing the town’s past, present and future.

The artwork is part of Project Happy, a new campaign being launched by Barons Quay and Cheshire West and Chester Council to bring some much needed positivity during a very difficult time for local residents. The project will include a series of engaging street artworks and initiatives to reward the Northwich charities and individuals that have helped local people during the outbreak.

North West artist Emma Evans will bring Project Happy to the shopping centre as well as the streets of Northwich, with three painted murals that are expected to be completed in July.

Organisers are keen to involve the local community and have therefore launched a competition for local children to be part of the artworks.

Under 16s are being invited to get creative and draw and an object that makes them happy. One drawing will be chosen to be part of the mural at Barons Quay, the winner will also receive a £50 voucher to spend at The Entertainer and five runner ups win a £20 voucher.

Entrants must draw one object on A4 paper and then ask their parents to take a photo of it and post it via social media tagging in @BaronsQuay or @barons_quay on Twitter using #ProjectHappy by the 26th June.  More information on how to enter including some tips from Emma can be found here.

Lina Higuita, Centre Manager at Barons Quay said: “The aim of Project Happy is to embrace all the positive things about Northwich, whether that’s our heritage or the spirit which local people have shown throughout the coronavirus outbreak. We know that this has been an incredibly difficult time for local people and businesses and so we are aiming to bring positivity to the town and celebrate local heroes over the next few months.”

“We have seen that children and their families are getting creative at home, painting rainbows and using art to keep their spirits up, they have inspired our street arts project! You don’t have to be an artist to get involved, we will be posting helpful tips and advice on our social media channels to help get those creative juices flowing.”

Artist Emma Evans said: “Many people will be finding life tough at the moment, Project Happy will help people to focus on the positive and I hope that children will enjoy being inspired by the things that make them happy! My advice to entrants is to keep their designs very simple, bold and as colourful as possible, I can’t wait to see what they come up with!”

Councillor Richard Beacham, Cabinet Member for Housing, Regeneration and Growth said: “The past few months have been challenging for us all and some more than others. The full impact of Coronavirus on our communities and economy are not yet known, but despite all of this it’s important that we can look to a future beyond this crisis. Our mental health and well-being, and that of the young people in Northwich has never been more important, so Project Happy is a fantastic opportunity for local children to get involved with art and leave their mark on their town.

“Whilst we are isolated or restricted in our movements, we are still part of a wider community and we need to seize opportunities to remember that. People in Northwich are so proud of the town and this project is about using that positivity to create something for everyone to enjoy, as soon as they are safely able to do so. I am really looking forward to seeing the finished murals for myself.”