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Public Art

Public Art helps create a distinct and local identity, enhancing the environment and creating a sense of place.


We work with artists to create art for a particular place, usually commissioned by or working in collaboration with others such as architects, landscape designers, planners, developers, community representatives, funding partners etc.  


Involving artists and crafts people in the design development processes enables the Council’s corporate priorities to be enhanced.


Key Objectives

  • Achieving high standards of design
  • Respecting local distinctiveness
  • Enhancing diversity
  • Involving local people to encourage an appreciation of the natural and built environment
  • Promoting a sense of community pride



The Council seeks to negotiate a minimum of 1% of the costs of all capital developments for the development of public art.


A Quick Guide to Public Art

Identifying the Opportunities

Public art works can be considered for most developments and areas in the public realm, including:

  • Residential developments
  • Town centre and other regeneration schemes
  • Development of business retails and science parks
  • New schools and other public buildings such as leisure and community centres
  • Landscaping, parks and other public realm places
  • Transport schemes including new roads, bridges, junctions, rails and pedestrian and public transport routes

Developing a Public Art Strategy

The Council’s Art Development Officer can offer help and advise on the formulation of a strategy and the development and provision of public art in the scheme area.

Project Consultation

Consultation with the general public, individuals, groups and local organisations, education, arts and other establishments is a key part of developing public art in an area. This can take place in a number of ways 

including: presentations, exhibitions, participatory workshops and other appropriate forms relative to the development stage of the project.

Commissioning Artists and Arts Consultants

The following provides an outline of the stages important for achieving a successful project. At all times, the developer, should work with the Council's Arts Development Officer who can provide assistance and support. There are also a number of freelance arts consultants who are able to help with the development of public art projects.


The brief to artists should be written carefully and include the projects:

  • Aims
  • Budget
  • Timescales
  • Insurance requirements
  • Technical Issues
  • Maintenance Requirements
  • Maintenance budget (if relevant) - it needs to be made clear and agreed at the earliest stage of the project possible who will be taking responsibility for maintenance of the work and where possible indicated in the artist's brief.

Collaboration with the full design team is essential at this stage to ensure common objectives.

An open procurement process should be used to select an artist. Interview panels should include representatives of each interested party and the involvement of a local councillor and or community member as required.