YOUNG people and their feelings about their home town are behind a new, striking mural close to Settle town centre.

The mural, on the side of a three-storey building in Kirkgate, features four giant words -’ soar’, ‘wandering’, ‘rise’ and ‘rolling’ - chosen by the 14 to 19 year olds as part of the creative programme, The FOLD.

The FOLD, led by Deco Publique and commissioned by Great Place: Lakes and Dales, was designed to give young people a voice by creatively empowering decision making in their own areas.

Lily Whittle, 19, from Wigglesworth, said: “There aren’t that many creative opportunities for people my age to get involved in here, so when I first heard about The FOLD, the prospect of bringing more of an arts scene to Settle was extremely exciting.

“I felt quite disenfranchised living in Settle, like there was no outlet for young people and I was looking to leave. There were other people in the group who truly loved living here and seeing the place through their perspective made me feel more connected to the town and much more appreciative of living here.”

She added for her, it had been important to include ‘rise’ as one of the words in the mural.

“To me it’s about rising to the challenge of growing up, eventually leaving Settle to go to university and having to face bigger things, but knowing this town has made me. I am beyond proud of what we have managed to do. I hope the mural will be there for years and years to come.”

The mural comes out as the same time as a report by North Yorkshire’s Rural Commission which highlights the challenges faced by the young people and the boost to North Yorkshire’s economy that the ‘missing generation’ could bring. Recommendations include the need to transform the area for younger generations, an aspiration shared by projects like The FOLD.

The young people chose the style, wording and colour scheme of the mural and were involved in the artist selection process.

Traditional sign writer,West Yorkshire based Robert Walker, of ‘Signs by Umberto’ began signwriting aged 14 years old, and is now a member of The Guild of Master Craftsmen.

He says he was inspired from traditional typography found in advertisements and signage from the 1900s.

“I’m in love with letterforms and in particular painting lettering with historical value. It gives me enormous joy to think that my family might see this when I’m old, a sign still resonating into the next generations,” he said

Lauren Zawadzki, of Deco Publique, said: “We were all enormously conscious of the heritage of the area and wanted the art to reflect that whilst also being something that has a contemporary angle that the young people could take ownership of.

“In bringing on board ‘Signs by Umberto’ to collaborate on and deliver the project we were able to take advantage of Robert’s incredible experience in traditional typography which really helped bring the ideas to life.”