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Eye-catching new mural helps businesses on King Richards Road

The King Richard III mural taking shape and nearly complete in King Richards Road in Leicester

A NEW mural commemorating King Richard III and the Battle of Bosworth has been created on King Richards Road in Leicester.

The artwork – which features a battle scene and King Richard III’s heraldry – was commissioned by Leicester City Council. It was designed and created by local artist MONO, working with artists’ collective Graffwerk.

The mural is on the side of the Bazaar Mart shop at 109 King Richards Road, and is clearly visible to anyone travelling inbound along this main arterial route into the city.

It has been created as part of Leicester City Council’s ongoing citywide retail improvement scheme, which has previously seen improvements to shop frontages and the street scene along other key routes into the city, including Belgrave Road, Welford Road, Narborough Road and Saffron Lane.

As part of this latest round of improvements, the upper level of a block of shops fronting onto King Richards Road – formerly the site of Marks Electrical - has been repainted in gunmetal grey.

Five of these shops will also benefit from striking new vinyls for their shutters, further depicting King Richard III. These will begin to be installed next week (w/c 17 May).

Images depicted on the shutters will be a painting of King Richard III, a soldier in armour, a flag, a battle scene and King Richard’s crown.

Shop owners helped to decide on the King Richard III theme, and contributed towards the upper floor paintwork. The mural, shutter vinyls and other improvement works to shutters have been paid for by Leicester City Council, which has invested £17,000 in the scheme.

Assistant city mayor for neighbourhoods Cllr Kirk Master said: “As we come out of the coronavirus pandemic, our priority is to support local communities to recover and thrive. This project demonstrates our commitment to helping small independent retail businesses, working with them to come up with a theme for improvements and creating a striking new mural that will attract shoppers and visitors to the area. Commissioning the mural also helps us to support local artists.

“We know the vinyls on shop shutters can look really attractive, as demonstrated by a previous similar project on Saffron Lane. It will make a big difference to the street scene and helps to foster a sense of community and identity for King Richards Road.”

Council officers are talking to small businesses across the city about further improvements under the scheme, which can include helping with the costs of new signage or revamping shop fronts.

Emmalese Johnson, owner of Bazaar Mart, said: “I am so thrilled with the way the mural has turned out and so proud to have it on the side of our shop. When the council first approached us with the designs, I couldn’t picture it, but I honestly never thought it would look as good as it does – it’s breath-taking.

“It has already attracted people to the area who stop and have a look. The shutter vinyls mean we will all tie in with the theme and the area will look really nice – it’s fantastic.”