EXPERTS in graffiti are using their skills to protect urban art in the spiritual home of global sensation Banksy.
Nordic Focus Training Group, originally set up to combat and remove the handiwork of vandals and now a leading training company, is now exporting its expertise outside of the region to preserve the medium.
Darlington’s mayor Tom Nutt and his wife Gill were told about the latest work on a visit to the firm’s national headquarters in the town’s Chesnut (CORRECT – no T) Street, which specialises in training and apprenticeships.
Company chairman Peter Robinson said: “We were originally called by Bristol Council to remove swathes of graffiti adorning walls around the city. Bristol is where Banksy is believed to be from and we may have actually removed some of his work.
“Now we have been asked to use the same materials we use to protect walls from graffiti to preserve murals that are now considered urban art forms. It is ironic that graffiti artists were once our arch-enemies and now we are helping to enhance their work.”
Graffiti artist Alex Lucas said: “The product is brilliant acting as a varnish to protect the work. I’ll be ordering some more soon as I’m planning to do three large metal roller shutters in April.”
Mr Robinson invited the mayor to visit after they met at the recent St Teresa’s Hospice 30th anniversary celebration staged in the council chambers.
Coun Nutt said: “I am so glad we decided to visit NFTG who are another example of the organisations in Darlington doing such a great job across the region and nationally. It is great to see what is happening in Darlington and the opportunities Nordic are providing for our residents in delivering excellent training particularly to young people.”
As well as specialising in graffiti, Nordic Focus and Training also delivers funded training and apprenticeships across a wide range of disciplines and market sectors. The company has placed more than 50 young people into jobs since September.
The mayor heard that NFTG also works with national house builder Persimmon Homes helping to retrain ex-service personnel, adapting their skills to civilian life.
Mr Robinson said: “They make very good students and have a very high success rate engaging well with the apprenticeship programme and going on to secure jobs or launch their own enterprises.
“When you travel the world it makes you appreciate what a fantastic town Darlington is and we feel we have something to offer the whole community by talking with employers to find out exactly what they want and need from training.”
For more information on opportunities at Nordic Focus and Training Group visit www.nftg.co.uk.