CRAVEN'S creative identity has received a boost with the installation of new boundary signs designed by local photographic artist Mary Woolf.

Settle-based Mary, 24, was commissioned to create the 16 eye-catching new signs in four different designs which have now gone up welcoming visitors travelling into the area on every main road into Craven.

Great Place: Lakes and Dales (GPLD), the programme which aims to use art, culture and heritage to attract and retain young people to live and work in the area, funded the project in partnership with Craven District Council.

GPLD programme manager Lindsey Hebden said: “We are delighted to see Mary’s designs in situ, giving the message that Craven is a place which backs creativity.

"Investing in younger artists in such a prominent way promotes the area as one which values culture, heritage and the arts and encourages families and younger people to make it their base.”

Mary settled in North Craven after her parents moved to the area while she was at university in London.

Mary said: “I never expected to live in the Dales, but I’ve fallen in love with the place because it is so inspirational.

"I’m very proud and pleased to see my designs in place announcing the boundaries of the district I now call home.

“Winning this GPLD commission has helped me to establish myself and given me a great start in my career.

"I am interested in exploring how art can be used to promote Craven as an area suitable for young artists.

"I hope that the signs will be particularly appealing to young audiences and be a talking point for all.”

Councillor Simon Myers, Craven District Council’s lead member for Enterprising Craven, said: “I’m delighted to see these wonderful designs in place, reflecting the stunning landscapes that we are so lucky to have here in Craven.

“These new signs will help us raise awareness of the district as a great place to live, work and visit. With its wealth of heritage and culture, Craven inspires creativity.

“We’re keen to attract and retain more families and young people to the area and we’re developing a range of initiatives with this aim in mind.”

Great Place: Lakes and Dales is one of 16 pilot projects in England funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England and is focused on the rural corridor linking Skipton in the south and Grasmere in the north, including the market towns and rural hinterlands, extending into both the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District National Parks.

The programme is managed via the Consortium of Partnership Organisations, which is made up of additional funding partners including Craven District Council (lead authority), South Lakeland District Council, Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and Lake District National Park Authority.

A Creative Board, which includes additional cultural organisations, manages the strategic delivery.

The programme is funded from August 2017 – March 2020 and its main purpose is to understand the reasons for fewer 16 to 34-year-olds than the national average living and working in the area and seek to address them, using arts, heritage and culture as the catalyst for economic, social and environmental change.