Reimagining your space

Have you ever looked at your alley way and thought about the potential uses for it?

If you’ve recently cleaned your alley way, keep in mind that your alleyway may not remain clean straight away.

There may still be some fly-tipping, or perhaps a neighour not fully supportive – it’s important to know that this sort of project takes a lot of maintenance. But please don’t let that put you off! Slowly and surely, and with continued support and nudging, this can be resolved.

“You just need a starting point! Make sure you have access to all the links for reporting, plan in advance, start small & work your way through it, one bit at a time. And keep expectations sensible (not like me!) Learning to reel in your emotions was a biggy for me. I can let things go now without losing sleep!” – Victoria, Rockcliffe street resident 

Start to reimagine your space – what do you want it to look like? Chat with your neighbours so you can work out the space together.

There are lots of different uses for shared community space. For example do you want to have a space that children can play in,
a space where you can sit out and relax, or a space to grow flowers and plants?

Things to consider:

  • Do you require vehicle access? Do the bin men collect bins from a collection point or need to go up your alley? Make sure there is always space for emergency services if required.
  • Do you want low maintenance? Some plants might take a little more looking after
  • Are there children? There lots of ways to get them involved and make sure the space is fun and safe for them to play in

Get a plan of action together for your transformation

  • Create a local alley Facebook page
  • Choose a day and time and let your neighbours know. We have postcards which can be posted through doors to let neighbours know in advance of your transformation.
  • Begin with simple things like a lick of paint on the walls then move on to more substantial stuff such as planters, furniture.
  • Do you want to learn a new skill? Get in touch with our adult learning team, they run all sorts of classes and can even run a class in your back alley. Get in touch with them here: The Fettle also run lots of workshops, you can find out more information here.

Amazing artwork by resident, Vicky Mcleigh



  • Where can I get paint from?

    Painting the outside walls can give it a fresh and well cared-for look. As well as that, the paint protects the walls against wind and weather. But painting the outside walls requires a certain amount of knowledge and preparation.

    Top tip! Remember to use Masonry paint as these can offer a reasonably good durable solution, and will last around 2 years before you need to reapply it again.

    • Ask around

    You’d be surprised what people have in their sheds or cupboards. Ask your neighbours or friends if they have any masonry paint lying around that can be used.

    We are also lucky enough to be surrounded by lots of local businesses. Why not get in touch and see if they have any paint they can donate?

    • Club together with your neighbours

    A few pound each can go along way. Club together and see what you can get!

    • Shop local

    SAM’s in Blackburn offer a community repaint scheme. They collect paint locally from traders, retailers and manufacturers. Paint is available for individuals and groups to purchase. We would recommend calling ahead to make sure they have the paint you need before visiting. Find out more here

    Why not try your local DIY stores?

    Remember you’ll need paint brushes and rollers too!

  • Where can I get pallets and tyres from?

    We can provide pallets and tyres for back alley transformations. Please get in touch with Sally via email at:

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