New sculptures unveiled on the Glamorgan Heritage Coast


08 December 2016


PUPILS at St. Brides Primary School have recently unveiled a sculpture at St. Brides Major, one of a series of four commissioned to celebrate the Glamorgan Heritage Coast.


Unveiling of sculpture


Sculptor Howard Bowcott, local residents, businesses and councillors were present at the unveiling.

The new sculptures will mark the key entrance points to the Glamorgan Heritage Coast area, and have been commissioned as part of an on-going initiative to raise the economic potential and profile of the destination to visitors and residents alike. 

The other locations include road-sides at Ogmore, Llantwit Major and St Athan. Following consultation with the local community, a sculpted bench has also been added to the series at Dunraven Bay.

The commission is part of a series of works led by the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Creative Rural Communities, and is funded by the Coastal Communities Fund. The funding was awarded to help boost the economic potential of the area. 

Sculptor Howard Bowcott specialises in large-scale public artworks; his designs have been likened to large fin or sail-like shapes, even devil’s toenails, a fossil which is locally abundant. The sculptures comprise of layers of locally-sourced stone, which represents the cliff strata along the coastline. Local residents and school children have been participating in a number of public consultations with Howard and have helped to shape the final designs.

Creative Rural Communities, along with the sculptor, held an extensive consultation with local residents, businesses, community groups and local councils to determine the final locations, shape and design of the sculptures. They also worked with three schools: Llantwit Major Comprehensive’s A level Art students dedicated a project to public art and living sculptors following the sessions with Howard; St Illtyd’ s Primary were involved in the inspiration for the designs; and St Brides Primary School worked with both Howard, and Amanda Rackstraw, local creative writer and story teller, to create the poetry used on the St Brides Major Sculpture, using the local area and the coast as their inspiration. 

The poem has also been replicated on a sculpted stone bench located outside the Dunraven Gardens.

Deputy Leader, and Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Education for the Vale of Glamorgan Council, Lis Burnett, said “We hope that local residents and the school pupils have enjoyed being part of the creative process, and that they have a real sense of pride now that the sculptures have been unveiled. The Glamorgan Heritage Coast is a great asset in the Vale of Glamorgan, and these features will really highlight the area as something special for many years to come. The investment in the Glamorgan Heritage Coast through the Coastal Communities project has enabled the team to continue with raising the profile of the area.”

In addition to the work at key entrance points, five new storage units, created to encourage local businesses and beach activity providers to use the coast as a base, will soon be available to hire, and are situated adjacent to the Heritage Coast Centre. A newly-improved beach slipway at Dunraven Bay has also been recently completed, as well as a series of coastal pop up events. Due to the funding boost from the Coastal Communities fund, an officer is also in place to offer business support to both existing and new Glamorgan Heritage Coast businesses.

Creative Rural Communities is part-funded by the Welsh Government Rural Communities Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the Welsh Government and the European Union. 

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