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Art on the road: Boston to Belgium

Art from Boston and South Holland will be seen from Sutterton to Spain, Holbeach to Holland, Benington to Belgium and Fleet to France as part of a travelling display set to clock up 125,000 miles a year.

Getting ready to roll: FreshLinc will take South Lincolnshire art to a Europe-wide audience as the first commercial backers of the Transported project. Joel Evans, FreshLinc's general manager, is pictured with one of the lorries at the Spalding HQ which could provide a blank canvas for an arts-on-the-road extravaganza.

The project will link communities at home with each other and also with communities abroad with much in common. Large-scale photographic commissions on vehicles that criss-cross Europe, will connect the local work force with the places and cultures the lorries travel to. 

Spalding-based haulage company FreshLinc will provide links between the villages and towns as part of its commercial support for an arts project set to receive £2.5 million of Arts Council funding.

The firm will provide a perfect fit with the theme "Transported" and the aim of taking art to areas where such access is limited.

Locally-generated artwork will adorn the side of a lorry trailer which, in the course of an average year will travel 125,000 miles locally, nationally and internationally and be seen by literally millions of people.

FreshLinc, based on the Wardentree Park Industrial Estate at Spalding, decided to back "Transported" after being involved in a similar lorry trailer art project to promote a charity which supports disadvantaged children.

The firm has an operating centre in Normanton, near Wakefield, and backed that area's Well Project, incorporating a display produced by the children into its lorry art.

Joel Evans, FreshLinc's general manager, said that artwork was seen all over the UK and Europe.

He said: "We became involved in Transported because we wanted to be involved in a local community project and we are uniquely placed to support this particular theme.

"Our vehicles connect with communities here and, through our business of transporting mainly produce, houseplants and flowers, with communities throughout Lincolnshire, the UK, Holland, Belgium, France and Southern Spain which share much in common despite the miles between them and the language differences."

FreshLinc acts as a central distribution depot for vegetables, fruit and flowers from producers within both the UK and the Continent, supplying locally-based food processors and packhouses as well as the retail market.

The company operates 174 trucks, 250 trailers and employs a workforce of 270 which includes staff from Poland and Lithuania.

Mr Evans said: "We are pleased to support a venture which involves the local community, culture alongside communities and cultures much further afield - we are already a multi-cultural business."

And he said lorry art is now part of the established haulage scene with many innovative, interesting and pleasing designs to be seen travelling local roads, national and international motorways.

Other innovative uses for the company's fleet in connection with the Transported arts project are being explored.

The three-year arts project for Boston and South Holland won a £2.5 million grant from the Arts Council in August.

The South Holland and Boston Creative People and Places Arts Consortium made the bid to take art of all forms out to the community and into often isolated rural areas where access can be limited.

An exciting programme is being developed by local representatives from the Lincolnshire Artist Forum, the Community Volunteer Service for the area and artsNK, North Kesteven District Council's Arts Development Team.

The programme has the active support of Boston Borough Council and South Holland District Council, along with numerous other Lincolnshire-based organisations and private sector partners.

The project aims to build on partnerships, taking advantage of this area's position at the centre of the food production and processing industries, especially the haulage industry.

For more information and to register your interest go to www.transportedart.com

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