Headlines: November 11th, 2004

Artists are to work with design teams on new schools and roads and the regeneration of town centres and communities under a scheme, which today announced grants of more than a hundred thousand pounds to support the involvement of artists in a range of projects throughout the country.The money comes from PROJECT, the joint initiative launched by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment and Arts and Business. The grants go to ten schemes to be developed over the next year.

Belfast City Council is leading the Arterial Routes Initiative, which, aims to develop integrated regeneration plans for designated key roads into the city. The PROJECT award will enable an artist to join a collaborative visioning process from an early stage. Money has also gone to Aberdeenshire Council where an artist will join the research, consultation and design leading to the regeneration of Peterhead. In Birmingham PROJECT is backing Learning Spaces – Living Places and at Homerton in London the artist Nils Norman will plan and design ‘a sprawling extension’ to the Adventure Playground.

Two schemes in Lancashire are being assisted by the funding under its Visionary Award category. . They are the Creating Inspiring Neighbourhoods project in Blackburn with Darwen and the Preston Tithebarn Regeneration Project.

For the Chatham Place development in Reading, the PROJECT award will fund an artist to join the multidisciplinary team working on the design and construction of a 96 apartments for key workers and shared equity housing, 200 private flats, a car park, retail units and a new public square. Similarly in Cambridgeshire the money will pay for effective collaboration with a visual artist in the planning a major urban extension site on the northern fringe of Cambridge and within the M11 development corridor.

The PROJECT money will enable internationally renowned artist and architect, Charles Jencks, to work with RMC on a scheme to turn quarry landscaping into art, and a partnership between Article Press at the University of Central England and ixia, previously known as Public Art Forum, will lead to three publications addressing themes of Environment, Community and Habitation.

Since its launch in June, PROJECT has attracted enormous interest and at its first panel meeting reviewed over forty schemes. Richard Simmons, Chief Executive of CABE said the response illustrated the growing interest in involving artists in regeneration.