Pupils at The Whitehaven Academy have brightened up their old gym with colourful graffiti to mark what they hope will be a turning point for the school.

The building will soon be knocked down as part of a multimillion-pound redevelopment of the campus but teachers wanted to create a positive environment until the new school is built.

Matthew Labourne of The Colourful North, led the project which saw students spray paint eye-catching designs on to the walls of the former gym building.

Pupils helped design the artwork and from the many designs submitted, 13 pieces were selected and combined to create the mural.

It features the school motto, 'be the best you can be' and a quote provided by Year Nine pupil, Madison Armstrong, which says, 'live life like a butterfly, take a rest but never forget how to fly'.

Andrea Bateson, acting headteacher, said: "The Whitehaven Academy has been incredibly lucky to be involved with The Colourful North, and we couldn’t be more delighted with the finished article.

"This project has really brought to life the exciting times ahead for The Whitehaven Academy. Our thanks go to Matthew Labourne at The Colourful North, and the parents who have supported the project, and congratulations to our very talented artistic students."

Mr Labourne said: “The Whitehaven Academy event has been phenomenal to boost the creative self-esteem of the pupils and the area, helping use cultural development to re-identify with former industrial heritage creating a colourful landscape assisting to the reversal of self-esteem associated with previous facilitators.

"We wish Whitehaven Academy all the luck in the future and hope the murals are symbolism of better times ahead.”

Inspired by street art in Australia, The Colourful North aims to transform "dull, bland and uninspiring" buildings with art masterpieces for the community to enjoy.

Since its launch, brightly coloured murals have been created across Copeland including an intertwined dragon and phoenix at Phoenix Bridge in Cleator Moor, a World War One field of poppies in Moor Row and a SpongeBob rainbow garden at Greenbank.

The Whitehaven Academy project was made possible by a £10,000 National Lottery grant, £5,000 from United Utilities, and support in kind from Bell Group and KB Scaffolding.