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Bristol City Centre BID delivers art inspired makeover project at Marlborough Hill Steps

Last updated: 28/04/2022

A key pedestrian walkway in the city centre has undergone a striking makeover with bespoke artwork and the introduction of new greenery to regenerate and bring colour to the area.

Bristol City Centre BID in partnership with University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW), have coordinated and funded the renovation of Marlborough Hill Steps to improve the look and feel of this key pedestrian walkway, located between two UHBW buildings in the heart of the city. The project considered how to make the area more visually appealing, brightening a predominantly concrete landscape, and enlisted the help of a local artist and gardener to transform the walkway.

Bristol-based artist Farrah Fortnam, whose art is inspired by the natural world and the planet’s eco-system, was commissioned to design brightly coloured murals that echoed a nature and woodland scene and made the route between the buildings more attractive. The murals now feature along the walkway and tie into the planters and new greenery installed there. Local gardener, Fiona Mackenzie, who works with Bristol City Centre BID for planters across the city centre, was brought in to design simple yet attractive planting to the bare tree pits to add further vibrancy to the area.

Vicky Lee, Head of Bristol City Centre BID said;

“We are always looking for ways that we can re-energise the Bristol City Centre BID area, to make the city look and feel more welcoming. Following discussions with the team at UHBW, we identified the Marlborough Hill Steps as a location that had received little attention and needed regeneration. We wanted to do it in a way that reflects the colour and spirit of the city, with bespoke artwork to make the area more attractive for those visiting or walking past the hospital buildings.”

Frances Macadam, Head of Arts Programme, UHBW;

“Marlborough Hill Steps walkway has a very high footfall of people walking through the city centre and visiting the hospital buildings that lie either side of it. We are grateful to Bristol City Centre BID for leading the transformation of this area, we hope it raises the spirits of our staff and brings some joy to all that walk through it.”

Artist Farrah Fortnam paints the lampost as part of the mural

Painting of a hedgehog eating an apple

Gardener Fiona Mackenzie waters the plants she has planted