4 August 2008
The brief for an international design competition to create inspirational public spaces in six town centres in Lancashire will be launched next week.
Pennine Lancashire Squared aims to find the best landscape architects and public realm designers in the world to create outstanding high profile spaces at the heart of six towns in Pennine Lancashire – Burnley, Accrington, Blackburn, Bacup, Clitheroe and Nelson. More than 300 design practices have already registered their interest and requested the brief.
The competition is the brainchild of Yvette Livesey and her late partner Anthony H Wilson, who proposed the competition as a means of attracting talent to the area, raising its profile and creating outstanding public spaces in each town. Their report, Dreaming of Pennine Lancashire, coined the term Pennine Lancashire for the former mill towns of East Lancashire, which are now undergoing a physical and cultural renaissance.
Yvette was engaged by Elevate, the regeneration agency for Pennine Lancashire, which works with partners from the public and private sectors to improve the housing market.
The Landscape Institute, the chartered body for landscape architects, is running the competition, with the endorsement of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The competition has received funding from the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and is being implemented by the Boroughs of Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Ribble Valley and Rossendale, with support from Lancashire County Council. CABE Space is providing ongoing support for the development of Pennine Lancashire Squared.
Chief Executive of Elevate, Max Steinberg, said: “We believe that creating beautifully designed public spaces at the centre of six of Pennine Lancashire’s towns will set the stage for new dramas to unfold and new stories to be told. Within a decade we want to see art, landscape and architecture students and professionals from across the globe descending on Pennine Lancashire to study world class examples of public space design.”
Chief Executive of the NWDA, Steven Broomhead, said: “The Pennine Lancashire Squared competition aims to inspire public pride, improve perceptions and increase private investment in our town centres in a way which reflects their character but also looks to the future.
“The NWDA is pleased to support an initiative which will bring high quality design in to the heart of six Pennine Lancashire towns and will help to secure their economic regeneration.”
Stephen Hodder MBE, Chair of the judging panel, said: “The regenerative qualities of considered public realm are well known. We are seeking truly inspirational designs of international quality for each of Pennine Lancashire’s towns that will reanimate, enrich communities, engender civic pride and ownership and be a lasting vision.”
Graham Burgess, Chief Executive of Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, said on behalf of Pennine Lancashire Leaders and Chief Executives: “Pennine Lancashire is renowned for its high quality landscape. This is an opportunity for our towns to match our surroundings and to give our citizens open spaces in town centres that will be used frequently. It will enhance cohesion and engender a sense of pride in our public realm.”
The competition will be run in two stages. Stage one is a call for expressions of interest and stage two for concepts. Judging for stage one will take place in September and see the selection of up to five design teams per site. Steven Broomhead will be the guest speaker at the launch of the competition, along with Stephen Hodder MBE.
For more details, visit www.penninelancashire.com/landscape.
Notes to editors:
The six sites are:
The Landscape Institute is the professional body and regulator for landscape architecture. Under its Royal Charter the Landscape Institute is charged with protecting, conserving and enhancing the natural and built environment for the benefit of the public.
Elevate: The regeneration agency for Pennine Lancashire. It was established in 2003 to renew the housing market in the former mills towns of the area.
Livesey Wilson Associates: Yvette Livesey and her late partner Anthony H Wilson were engaged to come up with a radical programme of cultural and social projects that would support the physical regeneration funded by Elevate. They came up with the competition in their report, Dreaming of Pennine Lancashire.
NWDA: The Northwest Regional Development Agency leads the economic development and regeneration of England’s Northwest and is responsible for:
CABE Space: CABE Space is the specialist public space part of CABE (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment). It aims to bring excellence to the design and management of public space by working with public sector clients and other organisations across England.
PLLACE: Pennine Lancashire Leaders and Chief Executives was established more than three years ago and brings together the senior political and officer leadership of the local authorities of Pennine Lancashire – the boroughs of Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Ribble Valley and Rossendale – and Lancashire County Council with the Chamber of Commerce, Lancashire Economic Partnership, Primary Care Trusts and the Elevate Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder.
Living Places: Living Places aims to demonstrate how culture and sport can underpin regeneration and contribute to sustainable communities. Living Places has identified Pennine Lancashire Squared as a priority project
Places Matter!: Places Matter! aims to drive up the quality of place making in the Northwest, providing support and celebrating success. Places Matter! is an Architecture and Built Environment Centre and a member of the Architecture Centre Network.
English Heritage: English Heritage exists to conserve and promote England’s spectacular historic environment and ensure that its past is understood and enjoyed.
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