A NEW community artwork has been unveiled at a local station to celebrate the best of the town.

Artist Nikki Whiston was commissioned by Barnsley Council’s South Area Team and SYMCA to produce the colourful creation at Wombwell station.

Featuring the distinctive Wombwell “unicorn” emblem and references to the Roly Poly Hill and Wishing Tree at Wombwell Park, it aims to capture the essence of Wombwell's rich history and diverse community spirit.

The project is part of a collaboration between the Council, South Yorkshire Mayor Combined Authority and the town’s community.

The brightly-coloured artwork, shaped with input from young people, families and community groups, features the slogan "Together We Create” alongside words such as safety, pride, home, diversity and hope, with a rainbow representing diversity.

The Mayor of Barnsley, Ccun Mick Stowe, was joined by local councillors, community members and representatives of SYMCA at an event yesterday, to celebrate the artwork’s installation and the local community spirit it reflects.

Clare Archer from the Council's Barnsley South Area Team and SYMCA community rail officer Cathrine Ashworth used ideas gathered from local councillors, community groups and young people to develop the key themes which Nikki creatively translated into a design, which she painted directly onto plyboard the size of large poster.

Her finished painting was photographed, upscaled and printed onto aluminium board ready for mounting on to the wall at Wombwell station.

Nikki said: “I was excited to be asked to create a piece of art to be displayed at Wombwell Station. It was a lovely project to work on and feel very proud to have my work displayed for the community to enjoy.”

Nikki’s original artwork will be installed at Wombwell Library, helping to connect the station with the heart of the community.

The new installation, which has been designed to be weather and graffiti-proof, forms part of a community rail initiative to bring more character and personality to South Yorkshire stations, to help them become more welcoming. There are also community-inspired artworks at Woodhouse, Swinton and Darnall stations.

Cathrine Ashworth said: “Smaller stations like this one are here to connect and serve the local community. It’s their station, so seeing them work together to develop such a creative and uplifting artwork and putting a real Wombwell stamp on the station has been great.”

Cathrine is keen to hear from anyone who would like to “adopt” Wombwell Station and help it to become a community station, full of character and interest.

“There is so much potential at this charming station, surrounded by nature, and would be a perfect canvas for a group to develop,” she said.

Coin Wendy Cain, Cabinet Spokesperson for Public Health and Communities, said: “It is wonderful to see how our residents of all ages have worked together to help produce this spectacular artwork.

“It is important our young people feel a sense of connection with their community, and I’m pleased so many have played their part in the design of the beautiful mural, which sums up the spirit of Wombwell and its people.

“I hope this colourful new artwork makes everyone smile whenever they use the station and encourage everyone to look out for it if they pass on the train.”

The Mayor and Mayoress also visited the neighbouring Wombwell Station Community Garden, which is maintained by volunteers.