WORK has begun to transform a dilapidated area next to Westcliff train station with a bright and vibrant work of art.

The project, which has been led by the Milton Community Partnership, has got underway to revitalise a busy thoroughfare at the bottom of Hamlet Court Road.

Southend Council has already repaired the floors, and now graffiti artist Shauna Blanchfield has been commissioned to transform the walls into a community mural over the next two weeks.

They will be painted with shades of blue and will feature wildlife native to the area including a seal, an oystercatcher, a jellyfish as well as birds.

Volunteers from Trust Links have already been helping to prepare the walls and will help with applying the paint using spray painting techniques.

Matt King, chair of trustees at Milton Community Partnership, said: “I am so delighted to see this project finally come to fruition.

“This has been a real partnership effort working closely with Southend Council, Marlborough Highways, and volunteers from Trust Links.

“I can’t wait to see the project completed, which will turn this previously neglected area into a destination for community and art.”

The mural is due to be completed at the beginning of May. This is in preparation for the In Harmony Festival on Hamlet Court Road, which will be held on Sunday, May 26.

The project has been a true collaborative community effort, led by the charity Milton Community Partnership.

It has been funded through a combination of National Lottery Funding and Community Infrastructure Levy.

Southend Council has also been working closely with Milton Community Partnership.

Maxine Sadza, Labour councillor responsible for the Milton Ward, said: “It is really great to see that the Hamlet Court Road stairwell art project is getting underway well.

“A big thank you to Matt King and Milton Community Partnership for the great idea and funding; the wonderful artist Shauna Blanchfield for her vision for the murals and engaging the Southend community in contributing to the project.

“I can’t wait to see how the project develops and am excited about the final outcome. It will make the stairwell a bright and lovely place to use for our residents and volunteers.”