Burley Banksy thanks Leeds for 'phenomenal' support as he gets green light from BT
Burley Banksy has praised the "phenomenal" support of the Leeds community who have successfully campaigned to bring back his artwork.
The street artist, real name Andy McVeigh, was inundated with messages of support after BT painted over several murals in Rothwell.
Openreach, the division of BT that maintains telephone boxes, had said Burley Banksy did not apply for the correct permissions to paint its cabinets.
But following a meeting with BT's regional manager for the North earlier this week, the company has given him the green light to keep painting its boxes in Leeds.
It comes after the company received thousands of emails and social media posts in one day, with Leeds United fans and the wider community backing Andy's work.
“The response was incredible," Andy told the Yorkshire Evening Post.
"You should never mess with Leeds fans. But it wasn't just Leeds fans, it was normal people with no interest in football, who said the boxes cheered them up and made them proud of the city.
"Some of the messages made me quite emotional. I paint a box, hope that someone likes it and go home. I don't always see the effect it has.
"The support is phenomenal and it shows the power of art."
Andy is now permitted to paint BT boxes across Leeds, but Leeds United-themed murals must be kept near Elland Road.
BT will fund the repainting of boxes that were covered in Rothwell, and it will make a donation to Martin House Children's Hospice at Andy's request.
The hospice cared for Andy's baby niece, Grace, who was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy and sadly died before her first birthday in 2016.
Andy added: "Everyone has really struggled in the pandemic and people have said the boxes get them through the day.
"To have thousands of people take the time out of their day to write long, beautifully worded emails, it's incredible and very humbling.
"It worked out positively, but only because the people of Leeds did it. I'm so thankful. All Leeds aren't we!"
Support the YEP and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news and the latest on Leeds United, With a digital subscription, you see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe.