Arts, Cities and Landscapes PR2064

27.07.2012

Arts, Cities and Landscapes

News release PR 2064

Issued 27 July

An innovative project between the Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk and Amiens in France has brought £405,661 of European Union funding into the area from the Interreg IV programme.

 The two-year project, which combines art and architecture with landscape gardening, will bring long-term enhancements to the public realm in King's Lynn, Hunstanton and Downham Market as well as supporting tourism, providing a mentoring and training project and creating opportunities for a host of cultural activities.

Cllr Nick Daubney, Leader of the borough council said: "We are really excited about this initiative.  At its core is a project to improve the local environment by introducing 14 landscape gardens or pieces of public art in west Norfolk.  But by working with our colleagues in Amiens, we will be able to share learning and experiences across our cultures, bringing fresh ideas to the area as well as encouraging tourism.  We'll also be supporting a programme which will enable unemployed people to get valuable work experience on this ground-breaking project."  

Six artwork/landscaping schemes have been identified for west Norfolk for the first year, which include the Inner Purfleet and The Walks in King's Lynn, and schemes in Downham Market and South Lynn.  A further 8 projects will be developed for year two, including one in Hunstanton.  A similar number of schemes have been identified for the Amiens element of the project.

 The project will begin with French and English visual artists and landscape gardeners being invited to put forward proposals for up to three of the commissions.  Details and information about each scheme, and its location, will be set out in a joint commission call with Amiens.  Artists and landscapers must be aged 35 or under and willing to work on either French or English projects.

 The call will go out on 1 October and submissions must be returned by mid December.  All submissions will then be assessed by a joint judging panel made up of representatives from Amiens and west Norfolk.  The first panel will meet in King's Lynn in 2013.  The process will then begin again for year 2 of the project and the judging will take place in Amiens.

Alan Taylor, Chairman of the King’s Lynn Arts Centre Trust, said: “The King’s Lynn Arts Centre Trust is proud to have worked with the borough council to develop this innovative bid and to have played an important role in helping the council secure European funding for west Norfolk. It fits perfectly with our vision of championing King’s Lynn as a major player in cultural and heritage tourism.”

In July each year there will be a celebration of the cross-cultural partnership with a performance by Amiens' Circus in King's Lynn and a premiere of a specially-created piece of music written by a French composer specifically for the town.

The project also includes a strand where each year up to 12 people, who are not in employment, will be selected to take part in a programme of activities to support the overall project.  They will have the opportunity to learn language and IT skills, event management, landscape gardening and health and safety.  They will become ambassadors for the project and will have the opportunity to travel to Amiens to visit gardens, landscapes and art installations there.  These unpaid positions involve a commitment of one day a week for twelve months, with all expenses paid.

 The project has been made possible thanks to European Union Funding through the Interreg IV A France (Channel) England programme.

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