ART students have spent five months collaborating on a heritage project with residents and museum bosses.

Youngsters on the art foundation course, at Queen Elizabeth (QE) Sixth Form College, in Darlington, have been working with residents of Westbrook Villas, off Northgate, and the Head of Steam Railway Museum.

The aim of the project was to enhance the historic site by installing a series of art works that celebrate links to the development of the railways.

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The Westbrook Residents’ Association, with the support of local groups, historians and the railway museum, secured a grant of £6,396 from the County Durham Fair Share Trust which supports local causes.

This enabled the project to go ahead and led to the association’s partnership with the college’s art department.

The Westbrook Villas’ art project was a challenge for the students whose brief was to create images that reflect the history of the street and its strong links with the railways, especially the Stockton to Darlington line.

Following research, the students presented a diverse range of creative ideas, all of which will be on the Westbrook Villas’ website, while 17 students will have work permanently installed at Westbrook Villas.

The rest of the group will display work inside the museum in a temporary exhibition.

Rita Smith, director of creative arts at QE, said: “We were inspired by the energy and enthusiasm of the Westbrook Residents' Association who are passionate about the historic area in which they live and want to preserve and share the historic links it has with the railways.

“The students have gained some important experience in working with real clients on a community project of a significant scale.”

:: An open event showcasing the work will be held on Thursday, February 28, at 12.30pm. Chris Lloyd, deputy editor of The Northern Echo, and QE principal Tim Fisher, will open the event. Meet outside 8A Westbrook Villas for a walk to the museum, where further art will be on display and refreshments served. A heritage walk and talk, led by Shirley King, will follow at 2pm.