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Newcastle Promenade Redevelopment wins Arts Council-sponsored Civic Trust Award

Thursday 5th April 2007 at 3pm 0 Comments

Receiving the Northern Ireland Public Realm Award at the Civic Trust�s gala awards ceremony: Sharon O�Connor, Director of Cultural and Economic Development for Down District Council, Catherine Adams (Scott Wilson), Paul Harron, Architecture and Public Image: Receiving the Northern Ireland Public Realm Award at the Civic Trust�s gala awards ceremony: Sharon O�Connor, Director of Cultural and Economic Development for Down District Council, Catherine Adams (Scott Wilson), Paul Harron, Architecture and Public

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is pleased to announce that Down District Council’s imaginative redevelopment of Newcastle Promenade (first phase) was awarded the Northern Ireland Public Realm Award at the Civic Trust’s gala awards ceremony at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool on 20th March. In sponsoring the prestigious prize, the Arts Council aims to both reward and encourage design professionals and their commissioners in Northern Ireland who are working to standards of excellence at the national level. The Arts Council has a formal remit to promote architectural design quality and the enhancement of the built environment, and the role of this hard-won Civic Trust ‘badge of honour’ is a strong demonstration of its aim to place the arts publicly at the heart of the region’s social, economic and creative life.

It is heartening that the winning scheme, which in the opinion of the judges fully merited a national Award, rewards a local authority, which has led by example, showing tenacity, commitment and flourish in its redevelopment of the public realm. Down Council has imaginatively transformed a tired but much used public space, employing experienced landscape architects and engineers – Scott Wilson (formerly Ferguson McIlveen) – to revision the place in an entirely fresh but appropriate way, using durable and pleasing materials which respect the natural environment. Furthermore, the Council admirably incorporated two new public art commissions by artists Chris Wilson and Robert McColgan within the scheme – both very successful works brought about by open competition.

The thrust of the winning environmental scheme was also focused on working within the context of the built and natural heritage, interpreting the landscape and opening it up for the town’s and area’s residents and its many visitors all year round. It is hard to imagine a more delightful backdrop for the winning scheme – majestic mountains, sweeping down, in the words of Percy French, to that foreground of sand and sea. Newcastle, which, topically, has just recently had its famous golf course voted one of the best in the world, now also has the distinguished promenade it deserves.
For further information, contact Jane Morrison, Media Relations Officer, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Tel: 028 90385263, email: jmorrison@artscouncil-ni.org

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