Year eight students from Radcliffe School in Wolverton have decorated the hoardings surrounding Network Rail’s new National Centre following an artwork competition to highlight the sustainability of the building’s construction.

Contractor BAM – listed this week as one of the UK’s greenest companies - organised the competition with support from Network Rail, which owns and maintains Britain’s railways. Thirteen pieces of the childrens’ artwork have now been transferred onto the aluminium hoardings around the central Milton Keynes site.   The colourful new additions were unveiled in a ceremony conducted by the Mayor of Milton Keynes, Mrs Debbie Brock, presenting certificates, medals and vouchers for the five winners. The lucky five were joined by fellow students, teachers, parents, and employees from BAM and Network Rail to see their work revealed.

Thirteen-year-old Rifna Rafeek was judged the overall winner for her entry, which takes centre place on the hoardings. She said of the painting:  ‘I have painted wildlife, trees, birds and the building is in the middle which represents what it is about. I’ve done the background in a dark blue colour so that my pictures which have a light, bright colour stand out. The clouds in my sky are a Van Gogh style called impressionism. In my building I have painted a bright orange so it will be more colourful. Also I have done a recycle sign outside the building which will be more eco-friendly. So overall my painting is about sustainability and to show my painting is presenting nature. Network Rail connect urban environments like Milton Keynes with urban and countryside. So you can go on any of their trains and get into a calm, peaceful place.’

Elena Goodspeed, BAM’s Education & Community Coordinator, said,

‘We’re really pleased to have this brilliant artwork from Radcliffe’s students to brighten up the National Centre’s hoardings for people in Milton Keynes. While BAM’s bright green and orange colours are very distinctive their skilful artwork is definitely better to look at and it helps to tell a positive story about the qualities of the project.’  Tim Coucher, Network Rail’s project director, said:

‘Network Rail made a big commitment to Milton Keynes by choosing the city as the home of our new National Centre. As well as bringing new jobs and new opportunities to for the local area, we want to play a role in the local community too. I'm delighted to see all the wonderful artwork that the children have created and I know it will make my journey to and from work much more colourful.’  Network Rail’s National Centre on Silbury Boulevard is scheduled to open in summer 2012 and will house around 3,000 Network Rail employees.   E N D S