Go Back

The Manchester College Zoe Power

The Manchester College commissions mural of hope for post-Covid-19 recovery

Mural painting is underway to highlight the resilience of students and colleagues during pandemic and to act as a beacon of hope for the future.

Work on a new nine-metre high mural to recognise the resilience shown by students through the pandemic and inspire hope for an aspirational post-pandemic future has been commissioned at The Manchester College’s Openshaw campus.

The intention is that the mural will create a visual time capsule that reflects the feelings, fears and hopes of students and colleagues, and represent the exciting opportunities young people across the city will have to create a brighter future as the region embarks on its post-pandemic recovery.

The mural has also been shaped by students in the College’s Centre of Excellence for Visual Arts who were involved in creating the design brief for the mural and supported the artist selection panel in their important decision. 

The mural is being designed by artist Zoë Power, a multi-disciplinary artist, working in the fields of illustration, print and typography. With a love of craft and typography, Zoë has also studied traditional sign writing.  Currently Zoë is extensively involved in several community arts projects across the UK, working with local residents and organisations to bring art to the wider community.

Zoe commented:

I was thrilled to hear that I would be a part of this project.

"Key themes of the brief were growth and overcoming adversity, which echo with many of the concepts that I enjoy working with, so the commission felt like the right match for me. I'm really excited to get started.”

Lisa O'Loughlin, Principal of The Manchester College, commented: “I am delighted that we are working with such a talented artist for this exciting project. Our students and colleagues have faced a lot of challenges over the last 18 months due to the pandemic, yet they have not faltered from working to achieve their aspirational goals.  We are extremely proud of what they have been able to achieve and this mural will serve as a reminder of the value of resilience and what can be accomplished in the face of adversity when we work together.

The mural marks such a huge milestone for us all in both in terms of what we have achieved and the opportunities that lie ahead as the whole of Manchester recovers following the pandemic.

"I am very excited for the unveiling at the new Openshaw campus, which I hope will be the start of a new chapter for our students who can continue their journey to becoming the next generation of industry excellence."

The mural is to be painted outside the main entrance of Whitworth House and will be unveiled at an exciting time for The Manchester College, in line with the opening of brand new, state-of-the-art facilities at the Openshaw campus in September 2021.

It’s just a matter of weeks until the first students walk through the doors of the £25m development, which will truly enhance the overall learning experience, providing a brighter future for the next generation of students in the city of Manchester.

The industry-standard facilities to be opened this Autumn include; a six-court multi-discipline sports hall with viewing gallery together with a media suite with match analysis capability; a state-of-the-art hospital suite including a mock hospital ward with infectious disease area for Health and Social Care students; specialist facilities for carpentry, joinery, brickwork and plastering for students in Construction and Engineering and a mock nursery setting for students studying Childhood Studies plus a motor vehicle learning facility.

In addition, in 2022, The Manchester College students will benefit from a new four-story campus right in the heart of Manchester, which will hold state-of-the-art-facilities and provide students with an environment that will mirror what they would expect to see when they enter the world of work. City Campus Manchester will be home to the College’s Industry Excellence Academies for Computing & Digital and Creative and Digital Media, while also providing new facilities for the Industry Excellence Academy for Hospitality & Catering and its Centre of Excellence for Performing Arts.

For more information, visit