Public Art Plan
Public Art is art in any media that ‘has been planned and executed with the intention of being staged in the physical public domain, usually outside and accessible to all’.
Persimmon Homes allocated £52,000 to North Dorset District Council (NDDC) for the provision of Public Art (only) at the Badbury Heights housing development. The agreement states that NDDC should produce a Public Art Plan in consultation with the Town Council. However, the Town Council has offered to lead on this project due to timescales with the funding, which is due to expire at the end of 2019 and could then be taken back by the developer. Another factor is the forthcoming change as NDDC will become part of the new Dorset Council in April.
The Town Council has therefore created a Public Art Plan for Badbury Heights and a working group has been formed (of Councillors, Blandford Arts Society and the Art department from The Blandford School) to progress the project and start a public consultation with residents. The Town Council does not yet own all the land at Badbury Heights, where three play areas are still awaiting installation (shown on the map below as NEAP, LEAP and LAP1) once the developer transfers the land. We are therefore starting Stage 1 of a public consultation. Stage 2 will start once the feedback has been received from this consultation enabling residents to choose what they would like to see in their surrounding area.
Working Group Meeting Minutes:
The Brief – Design Competition
Two public consultations were held; one in December 2018, targeting Badbury Heights residents only, followed by a consultation to all Blandford Forum residents in early 2019.
The results were discussed at the Working Group meeting on 1st April 2019 and a brief was created, incorporating the main themes from the responses, which were nature and wildlife to be located in the central green. The brief was approved by Town Council on 29th April 2019.
The brief is to:
Supply and install a covered bridge over a dry stream to include:
• Metal design
• Durable and sturdy
• Seasonal bulbs and wildflowers surrounding
• Interactive areas (to include tactile brass rubbings of nature/wildlife)
• Historical element linking the old town to present day with information boards
The contract has been awarded to Circling the Square who are currently working on detailed drawings, which have been approved by the Steering Group and the Town Council. In October the artist has commenced with the fabrication of the Public Art, with a view of installation in March 2020.
The installation commenced in November 2020, with the benches and canopy installed. Due to adverse weather the laying of the tarmac had to be put on hold at the beginning of 2021, but the installation was completed in February 2021. The Mayor will be officially opening the Public Art once restrictions allow.