The Banksy artwork on display at M-shed which saved a Bristol youth club

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A youth club with members from some of the most deprived parts of Bristol has been to visit the Banksy artwork which helped it.

'Mobile Lovers' appeared outside Broad Plain & Riverside Youth Project in 2014. It sold for £400,000 and is now on display as part of the Vanguard street art exhibition at the M-Shed museum.

The club's director, Dennis Stinchcombe MBE, says it would have closed without the intervention from the mysterious graffiti artist.

He said: "Well first and foremost, we would not be here if we hadn’t sold it and made that much money.

"The reality being, we had no money, we lost grants because the grants served their purpose.

Dennis Stinchcombe MBE, the youth club's director, is knows the club wouldn't exist without the sale of the artwork Credit: ITV West Country

"That was in 2014, here we are in 2021 so we managed to get eight or nine years out of it already and more to come, there’s more years to come.

"Words don’t express [how grateful we are], do they? At the end of the day, it’s a pity me and him can’t go out and have a few pints together."

After the Mobile Lovers artwork appeared outside the youth centre, there was an ownership battle, which was only settled by a letter from Banksy, after which they were able to sell it and use the money to fund youth work in Bristol.

By selling the Banksy artwork, the club has been able to maintain a tradition of youth work that has been going for more than 120 years.

The club is described as a sanctuary for young people across the city and with initiatives designed to inspire and encourage them, there are opportunities to which many children wouldn't normally have access.

Graffiti-artist Inkie believes the children will be inspired to enter creative industries in the future because of exposure to Banksy's work Credit: ITV West Country

Inkie, another of the city’s renowned street artists, said: “Most of the guys I grew up with doing sort of graffiti street.

"Ninety per cent of them are in creative industries such as Aardman Animations, tattoo design, free printing, commercial video graphics.

"It does lead on to better things for kids and I think just by showing this kind of thing, that you can be creative and earn a living by doing it, it’s a really good way of giving careers advice."

Children were invited to see some of the artwork that has saved their youth project, which some found inspirational.

One said: "When I see it, I think in a couple of years I might be able to do that."

Children, including the girl pictured, were inspired by the work and believe they can create similar art in the future Credit: ITV West Country

Others were grateful for the opportunities the youth project gives them and expressed their gratitude for the centre.

One child said: "It’s something to do every week and it’s been a real confidence-booster with the boxing and everything and it’s got me more active otherwise I might just be sat at home."

Another child added: "It’s a good opportunity to meet your friends and people you don’t know who go to your school.

"You get to know them better and have friendships with them. It’s a good opportunity to look at things you might be interested in and in the future you might want to do it more."