Southend BID unveils new ‘Spread Love Not Hate’ mural

An eye-catching piece of street art has been created on the bustling Southend High Street to reassure visitors and residents that there is no place for hate in Southend-on-Sea.

Southend Business Improvement District (BID) commissioned street artist Roo to paint the image of a rat and lion as part of the organisation’s commitment to creating an environment in the town centre where hate crime becomes a thing of the past.

Southend BID Manager, Suzanne Gloyne, said: “Like many seaside towns Southend is a diverse community, composed of people from all manner of backgrounds, cultures and religions.

“During the summer months and other holiday periods, this invariably increases with visitors from London, nearby counties and overseas.

“Not only that, individuals and their families choose to relocate to Southend, to pursue careers in key institutions like our schools and hospitals, or to take up roles in places like our shops, restaurants, factories and any other place of work you can think of.

“So, it is important that we say to everyone that you are valued, welcomed and appreciated in our town.”

The appearance of Roo’s striking image under the railway bridge spanning the High Street has also been planned to help highlight the forthcoming National Hate Crime Awareness Week, which runs from October 12-19.

For more information about Southend BID and the latest news of what’s happening throughout the town centre and seafront, click on www.visitsouthend.co.uk, like the Facebook page @VisitSouthendonSea, or follow @VisitSouthend on Twitter.

Mick Ferris

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