HUGE murals are being assembled across Basildon town centre as part of a £1.2million project to showcase global issues.

Artists and organisations across the borough have been planning productions of street art in the town centre as part of the project Our Towns, which forms part of the "BasildON Creative People and Places Programme".

For the past six months workshops have been taking place to design the murals, working with Basildon Young Carers, Crays Hill Primary School, Basildon Pride and Motivated Minds.

The programme was formed in 2019 and given a grant of £1,289,000 by Arts Council England, the first time a grant has been issued in Essex.

The first artist to finish installation of artworks is Helen Bur, who has introduced her ‘little people’ series to Basildon Market.

After spending time getting to know the market community, each artwork depicts either a regular customer or trader. These include Chris Elliott from the Battery Centre, plus from The Butchers Arms and Marta’s Chimney Cakes.

A Basildon Market spokesman said: "Its great to be involved in a project like 'Our Towns' that brings colour and vibrancy to the streets of the town centre.

"We are very much a community market and its lovely to see our traders and customers depicted in the wonderful artworks by Helen."

The former M&S building is also undertaking a makeover as part of the project with a monumental mural entitled Our Towns: Climate that focuses on Basildon’s ecology, shining a light on the near-threatened green-winged orchid frequently found in Basildon, transitioning in a cycle of life and death.

Tony Hedley, chairman Basildon Council's regeneration and economic development committee, Tony Hedley, said: “This art work will bring a splash of summer colour to the town and raise everyone’s spirits. Art and culture are what make town centres unique and we must embrace this going forward.”

Over the coming weeks further artworks are set to be installed throughout the town centre.

The murals will be celebrated at a launch event on August 21 in Basildon Town Square.