Artworks used to cover up hoardings around the former Friarsgate series have been branded “disappointing” by the leader of the opposition group at Lichfield District Council.

The Visit Lichfield designs highlighting local attractions were used around the land which had previously been home to the Tempest Ford site.

The area has been left derelict after the failure to secure funding for the long-awaited Friarsgate project.

Steve Norman

But Cllr Steve Norman, leader of the Labour group at Lichfield District Council said he had believed the £23,000 cost was for artworks rather than promotional images.

“I accepted that because the site was at the entrance to the city and may still be vacant for another decade something needed to be done to show that the site was to be developed when economic conditions allowed.

“However, I don’t think I was alone in thinking that these would be paintings of some kind rather than the confusing jumbled up posters they appear to be.

“These are in fact 36 images at a cost of £638 each.”

Cllr Steve Norman

“Not a great start to 2020”

The new images over the hoardings at the former Friarsgate site

Work on short-term improvements to the area – which has been rebranded as the Birmingham Road Site in the wake of the Friarsgate collapse – are due to begin next month.

But Cllr Norman said the controlling Conservative group needed to ensure costs didn’t continue to spiral – and urged money to be shared across the district.

“The so-called ‘enabling works’ for the site have increased by £185,000 to £3,180,000 and are already over budget.

“It is not a great start to 2020, but at least Lichfield city is getting more money thrown at the project that has been 20 years in the making while Burntwood’s council tax payers wait for their share.”

Cllr Steve Norman


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

25 replies on “Images on hoardings around former Friarsgate site branded "disappointing" by councillor”

  1. “Disappointing”, well that’s a charitable word to describe a complete dogs dinner of art and promotion. My working life was closely associated with the graphic arts. ‘Less is more’ as a general rule. This hotch potch of confusion does not invite attention. It also looks ugly. This is really sad as I am sure the intention was genuine, but it does not work. I am already nostalgic for those inoffensive grey panels that hid this ill fated site. Design is not easy. It requires talent and experience together with someone with an artistic eye to pass it off before implementation. I would be interested to read other opinions.

  2. Far better level the ground out putting grass down with benches for people to sit down a lot more inviting then what is there. Should never have done like this in the first place. The money easy take out of the people who made this disastrous discussion.

  3. I consider the hoarding artwork to be a statement of the lack of achievement of the council and the planning authority. The prospect of there being a further decade for the town to be reminded of the inability to further the development of this city is awful.
    Still, keep building more retirement homes and houses without the essential infrastructure.
    William Steward

  4. What a waste of money surely local artist would have done something and it still cost I bet less than half that

  5. All they’ve done is print up panels from the visit Lichfield tourism brochure. Not very imaginative, but also why ? If you see them on this location you’re already there, so don’t need to be told to visit

  6. shows lack of any knowledge of artistic understanding -should have asked Bansky-then lichfield would have become a major tourist attraction
    this is the council which does not give any financial assitance to local arts organisations other than a major grant to the Garrick

  7. Worried about whole new plans.Heard mention of “upgrade” of pools. Please NO! Also anymore of these blocks of similar design flats not needed.We need to keep what’s left of the traditional Lichfield that people come to see.Cinema great idea but let’s have some original sympathetic ideas here.

  8. They are an absolute mess. A real eyesore that is badly presented and gives a very poor impression of Lichfield District and the City. I wholeheartedly agree with all the comments above.
    This is yet more tax payers money wasted on the Friarsgate Fiasco.

  9. It is the season of goodwill. That’s my excuse for the description of my response to the shock of the new. (But inside I was weeping.)

  10. Even that fella at the Cath with his numerous industrial projectors could have come up with something twice as good as this for half the price. Why aren’t we utilising local artists, or, heaven-forbid, local schools for this sort of thing? Madness.

  11. I think what has been done is better than the plain boards, however there needs to be a review of the contractor who charges £638 per photograph. That money could be much better spent on things that the community needs – reduce parking costs to help local retail trade, small increase to public servant salaries, repairs to roads, redundancy payments for the 90 year old councillors, to name a few.

  12. Richard was some of that tongue in cheek, increases for public servants ,what public servants after the friary leisure centre fiasco,they all want making redundant not rewarding

  13. Can I ask why there’s a need to put up posters telling people IN LICHFIELD how great Lichfield is?

    It’s like me putting signs inside a chip shop saying, “Our chips are nice”. I know, I’m already here.

  14. “Terrence Price says

    Perhaps the council will spend a similar amount on the blue hoardings at Burntwood!”

    WOAHA there Terrence! Come on now, it’s only been about 25 years. They can’t move THAT FAST for the people of Burntwood!

  15. Who makes the decisions to send that sort of money. We aught to be told. Make someone answerable. It’s our money spent recklessly.

  16. It’s time to get rid of the officers . They are clearly lacking in any vision . They lack the skills to lead and take forward a city . Doug Pullen needs to clear the swamp and bring in talented people to create a true vision for Lichfield and stop the waste of tax payers money. If they don’t get rid of these self serving officers then Lichfield stands no chance and money will continue to be spaffed up the wall till they have nothing left .. sack them , no voluntary redundancies with big payouts which is what I have heard is going to happen .

  17. Citizen Ted, you win 200 points for the term, “spaffed up the wall”.

    I just had a coffee / phone screen incident.

  18. Mike, indeed when I say servants, I mean people who serve and work hard – so that’s police, fire fighters, street cleaners. It definitely doesn’t include the antiquated councillors – none of them ‘serve’ anyone but their government.

  19. The comment from Pamela Kynaston “It’s our money spent recklessly”. This couldn’t be the same Cllr Pamela Kynaston who sits on a Parish Council that spent 10% of its annual precept to carry out work on land for a proposed land swap that was not sent out for consultation to residents and eventually was scrapped after more than half the village turned up to a Parish Council meeting that saw the clerk resign.

    It couldn’t be surely….

  20. As I sat in traffic at the junction, I took a good look at the new hoardings around the old Ford garage site. I found them really pleasing. They were imaginative and a real splash of colour on a dismal day and they promoted Lichfield.
    I’m glad the council is taking its time to ask public opinion before anything is decided upon as to what will be put there. Personally, I like the idea of landscaped gardens, as it is opposite the train station, on a very busy road junction and next to the bus/coach station. Some trees and flowers in the middle of all that traffic to help Lichfield ‘breathe’ would to my mind, be very worthwhile.

  21. I think the area should be grassed and benches provided.
    At least it would look attractive and people could make good use of it.
    As a main road into Lichfield it would make our city more attractive.

Comments are closed.