Trafford House - Mural Design Commission

Deadline: 31/08/2018  |  Published: 01/08/2018  |  Venue:  |  City: Old Trafford  |  Region: Greater Manchester  |  Country: United Kingdom  |  Teddy Kealey

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We’re inviting artists to submit a concept design for a large piece of street art on Trafford House, overlooking the major arterial route of Chester Road and Manchester City Centre beyond. Located on such a busy thoroughfare, the piece will turn the building into a landmark in the area which will brighten the commute of thousands of people who pass the building every day.

Celebrating art and creating spaces which inspire and enliven communities is an important aspect of Bruntwood’s vision, and the resulting mural will be a key addition to Manchester’s growing collection of iconic murals and street art pieces – which bring colour and spirit to everyday spaces.

The winning design will be delivered in the autumn and the winner will receive an artist fee, invitation to the launch evening and promotion via Bruntwood's media channels.

Competition Brief 

The area has a deep connection with the suffragettes and in particular Sylvia Pankhurst, one of the most prominent leaders in the suffragette movement in the UK. Sylvia was born just metres from Trafford House and to mark the centenary of the female vote, we thought it would be an apt tribute to explore a celebration of Sylvia as a theme.

As well as a leader for the suffragettes, Sylvia was also an artist in her own right, and won best female artist of the year 1901 while she studied at the Manchester School of Art.

We are looking for a modern, contemporary, design-led piece of art that will make reference to Sylvia Pankhurst, either directly or indirectly, and therefore commemorate the achievements of Sylvia and the wider movement.

We would like to be led creatively by you, the artist. We are open to all ideas, mediums and styles. If you have never produced a large mural before, and are happy for your design to be delivered by a professional street artist, then we would still love to see your designs.

Designs should be:

  • Bold, beautiful, and exciting.
  • Aesthetically interesting.
  • Expressive, independent, reflective of your character.
  • Able to stand the test of time.


The mural will be painted onto the east facing gable end on the south wing of Trafford House. The gable end faces the traffic leaving Manchester city centre, and is visible from over a mile away. It also overlooks the pedestrian route between Old Trafford tram stop and Manchester United’s Old Trafford football ground.

The gable end is approximately 37.5 metres tall by 7.3 metres wide, however, due to the prominence of the tree at ground level, the artist might want to consider only the upper half of the wall.

The gable is facing towards Sylvia Pankhurst’s birthplace, about 500m away, on the junction of Chester Road and Talbot Road.

Submission Requirements

To submit your entry, please include your design, with visuals and accompanying text explaining the ideas and thoughts behind the artwork. We want you to describe why you think it would be suitable for the building and location, why it would make a positive impact to the area, and how it can help inspire those who see it.

Your submission should include:

  • Methods – what is your medium, what is your method for application, how will it sustain weathering.
  • Artistic experience/portfolio – Can you show us any examples of previous artwork you have done
  • Proposed artist fee and timescale of delivery.
  • Contact information – email, phone number, location.

If you require guidance or support in the delivery of your artwork, please let us know when you submit your entry. For example we could pair you with a professional street artist to deliver your design if needed. 

Key timings

The competition deadline is 31st August, the winner will be announced in September 2018 and the winning mural will be installed in October 2018.

Please email any questions to: 


Contact the curator
Who is eligible for this opportunity?
When is the deadline?
Friday 31st August
How many works can I submit?
When is the delivery date?
October 2018
Are there payments to artists?
Please send artist fee in submission
Is there a private view / opening?
There will be a launch party in November/December with press and key stakeholders
Does the location have disabled access?
What publicity will be provided as part of the opportunity?
Promotion via Bruntwood's media channels (mainly PR and social media)
How do you decide on proposals?
Packed with Northern cultural heavyweights, the panel will include the BBC’s Director of the North and Director of Children, Alice Webb; the Dean of Manchester School of Art, Penny Macbeth; Ben Barksy, creator of City of Hope festival; Louise Sutherland, Chair of the Pankhurst Trust; and Bruntwood’s Director of Culture Kate Vokes.
What happens if my proposal is chosen?
You will be contacted by Bruntwood to arrange a delivery date or to meet with the street artist if you'd prefer your design to be delivered by a third party

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