Urban Fallow - Stage 2
Brief for Creative Producer/Artist Animateur
6 month contract (January to June 2010)
SCA+D wishes to appoint a Creative Producer to work in partnership with SCA+D and four local authorities on Urban Fallow - Stage 2 (see detail in ‘Background’ section below) to assist in developing
programmes of temporary arts/cultural interventions to explore future possibilities for development and public use of vacant sites in Andover, Basingstoke, Eastleigh and Winchester.
The programmes will demonstrate how a range of quality artistic interventions can maintain a lively and energized location and profile potential for future development. Local communities will be facilitated to have a stake in thinking around their town and city spaces in a unique way, building a sense of ownership to maximise the potential of these spaces for long term, successful futures.
Urban Fallow will bring into sharp focus areas of vacant urban land resulting from the slowdown in construction and the halting of some major redevelopment and housing projects. It is important that these spaces, many of which are significant in both scale and location are not allowed to deteriorate and damage the public perception of a place. The project will reanimate these areas of land by offering them for use by artists, architects, performers and other professionals with an interest in engaging with the public to develop temporary events and interventions. As well as transforming the spaces and reducing urban blight, this project could also have the effect of reinvigorating interest and potential investment in the spaces, encouraging developers and local authorities to look at them again with renewed creativity and optimism.
Urban Fallow aims to develop a pragmatic but fluid approach to public access, cultural intervention, use and temporary transformation of urban spaces.
Longer term legacies for the project might include:
; A model project for delivery in other similar contexts
; Potential for influencing policy change within local authorities to adopt temporary public use as regular
part of urban development, public consultation and cultural provision.
; Longer term public access/cultural use or permanent change of use for a chosen site.
; Improved perception and identity of the space for the public, current user groups and prospective
; Experience of managing arts projects with multiple partners.
; Experience of working in a leadership role with other practitioners
; Knowledge of current debates and developments related to art in the built environment.
; Understanding of the role of artistic and cultural interventions in quality place-making.
; Experience of facilitating workshops, speaking in public.
; Experience of liaising with individuals, organizations, and communities to deliver arts projects
; Experience of developing and managing project budgets.
; Understand the scope and ambitions of the Urban Fallow project
; Work in partnership with SCA+D project manager and LA partners to advocate and promote the Urban
; Build knowledge of the place, history, community and context of each site.
; Build relationships with local community, professionals, practitioners and interested parties to facilitate
workshops to develop an approach to creative temporary public use of the chosen site in each town.
; Prioritise the need for quality in regional and national terms, e.g. potential for mentoring from high
profile practitioners for local organizations and individuals.
; Negotiating the process, building local ownership and support.
; Contribute to establish a legacy for the project at each site.
; To be a member of steering group.
; Refinement of the scope and ambitions of the Urban Fallow project
; Knowledge and documentation of the place, history, community and context of each site.
; Commitment from all relevant local partners to creative temporary public use of the chosen site in each
; Identified legacy for the project at each site.
; Costed programme of high quality for each site, in regional and national terms.
; Identified sources of partnership to deliver Stage 3
; Draft proposals for funding Stage 3
6 month contract (preferably January to June 2010)
Fee - ?10,000 (plus travel expenses related to activity in site locations)
; Please send a letter of application to include details of relevant experience, an outline approach to the
Urban Fallow project (including time allocation over the six months) and a CV. Closing date for thapplications – Friday 27 of November
th; Shortlisting – w/c 30 November
th; Interviews will be held in Winchester on Friday 11 of December (If you are shortlisted for interview
you will need to prepare a 10 minute presentation on your intended approach to the Urban Fallow
; Work to commence January 2010 (proposals for Stage 3 funding to be completed by 31st May 2010)
Short-listing and interviews will be undertaken by project steering group according to Solent Centre for
Architecture and Design’s equal opportunities policy.
Please send your letter of application and CV to:
Val Van Der Hoven
Urban Fallow Project
Solent Centre for Architecture & Design
30a High Street
Hampshire SO43 7BG
Urban Fallow – Background
Urban Fallow is proposed to run in 3 distinct phases to allow for careful consultation, planning and long term sustainability of the pilot models.
Stage One: February 2009 – May 2009 (complete)
Enabled SCA+D to:
; Work with local authorities and other interested parties in identifying suitable spaces and check
feasibility of programming the sites.
; Identify a shortlist of potential sites.
; Develop funding application for Stage 2
Stage Two: Oct 2009 – May 2010 (subject for this proposal)
; To create detailed proposals for transformation and programming of the chosen sites and to involve all
relevant parties – local authorities, communities, developers, artists and sponsors.
; To begin preparation (clearance/access/permissions etc) of the chosen sites for future activity where
; Identify and engage with project delivery partners
; Secure in-principle commitment from project funding partners
; Develop a funding strategy and delivery plan for Stage 3.
Stage Three: June 2010 onwards (tbc)
; To deliver programmes and temporarily transform the chosen sites.
; To disseminate, evaluate and identify a model for future sites. (Possible publication e.g. ‘Handbook for
Temporary Public Spaces’ and /or web resource)
Urban Fallow – Sites
As a result discussion with local authority partners we have identified 4 sites which offer a range of scale of site and the opportunity for SCA+D to engage with areas in which we have not worked in a concentrated way before.
Following preliminary meetings with authority partners, potential sites were discussed considering the following points:
; Reasons for the site as a priority for inclusion in Urban Fallow.
; Long term benefits for the site as a result of inclusion in the Urban Fallow project.
; Potential for establishment of public open space/green space/play space as a part of the development?
; Scale of the site?
; Details of ownership of the site (e.g. landowners, developers, tenants)
; How long has the site been vacant, what is its history?
; Current or previous plans for development.
; If there are plans in place what is the likely timescale for work to start. Is the site likely to be still vacant
in 2010? (we envisage this as being the earliest point at which programming might commence)
; Site within overall development strategy for the town.
; Any existing buildings/facilities on site.
; Risks if any, associated with providing public access to the site.
; Potential that may have interest in or would benefit from involvement in Urban Fallow.
The following sites were proposed:
Andover - ‘Theatre Plaza’
The site is a centrally located, unused area of land in the town centre on the route from the sports centre, arts centre and Andover College to the main retail district. It has been vacant for over 20 years and was previously home to a Tudor Cottage Grade II listed building which has been relocated to a site nearby.
It is visible to visitors from the main bus route. The developer has indicated that the re-development of the site is likely to come in two phases (subject to planning permission) which would leave a significant amount of land, representing the second phase, being left devoid of development or activity. This situation is likely to result in some visual deterioration of the site’s aesthetics in this central location. The site has been vacant for over 20
years and was previously home to Ford Cottage Grade II listed building which has been relocated to a site
nearby. Crime Prevention Officer has previously indicated that the area does suffer from some anti-social behaviour, particularly at night.
As the development plans have now been amended and phased Urban Fallow could ultimately influence plans for the space in a positive way. The plan is that the site will host a hotel, restaurants and residential units. In the longer term the completed development could involve a ‘blank canvas’ open space in the centre of the development site that may become available for project space. Key partners will be the developers, the Andover Vision regeneration consortium of local businesses, some with national remits such as HSA (private health insurance) and The Stannah Group, the town centre management team, The Lights arts centre,
Andover College, local education centres and artists.
The Urban Fallow project would be relevant to existing polices and strategies such as ‘Andover Vision’, the Adopted Local Plan (2006) and the Test Valley Borough Council Corporate Plan and associated objectives.
Basingstoke - Basing View: Former Gas Works site & City Wall House
Basing View is a 1.25 million square foot business district, hampered by poor infrastructure and an aging office stock, some of which is now in need of demolition. The two sites are owned by Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council and occupy gateway locations within Basingstoke and are both highly symbolic of the need for change in this area of the town which reflects poorly on the wider town profile. The sites provide a high profile opportunity for Urban Fallow for what will be a major regeneration project over a 10/15 year period. In the shorter term Basingstoke Borough Council believe the Urban Fallow project can be a catalyst for change. In parallel with other measures the council will be undertaking such as improvements to the public realm within
Basing View Urban Fallow would help to raise the profile of the Basing View project and demonstrate both at a local and regional level changes happening on the ground. This will highlight the opportunity to occupiers and investors, and start to reverse perceptions of an area in decline.
The Gas Works was demolished in the 1960s. This section of Basing View has lain undeveloped despite previous attempts to find occupational interest. The site is located in a highly prominent position, at the entrance to Basing View but the Council has been unable to attract developer or occupational interest in the land. City Wall House site is occupied by a 70,000 sq. ft. 10 storey office building, largely vacant since 1997. The outdated specification of the building means it has proved very difficult to find meaningful occupational interest. The council is committed to improving the public realm within the estate. The initial works will probably include landscaping around the perimeter of the former Gas Works site, which would compliment a potential Urban Fallow scheme.
Basing View is a key regeneration project for the borough council. The site sits adjacent to the town centre, is a key gateway to the town, and has a significant impact on the image of the town. Potentially, a fully developed Basing View could accommodate one of largest urban central business districts in the south east of England. The regeneration plans will focus not just on the provision of further office space, but also mixed use elements, the delivery of important transport and highways improvements, a significant improvement in the design and amenity of public realm and linkages to the town centre.
In the early stages of regeneration, the focus will be on preparing the ground for better times, demonstrate to potential investors and occupiers how the perception of the area is changing. We believe Urban Fallow will contribute to this improved perception by providing an opportunity to demonstrate real change, on the ground, and draw attention to the future opportunities. Whilst the key themes for the regeneration programme will be economics, environment and sustainability; Urban Fallow will offer an opportunity to explore crossover with local cultural strategies to embed them in the regeneration process.
Eastleigh - ‘Centris and ‘Earth Bar’
The Centris site (6000 sq. metres, owned by Dundas Properties Ltd., Belfast) is on the main thoroughfare into the town and at present creates a barrier between the recent housing development on the old Pirelli site and the main town. It has been vacant since 2002 and can be perceived to be presenting the wrong message about the town. The site has significant impact, being on both a busy thoroughfare and within walking distance of several thousand residents. The Earth Bar site (1200 sq. metres, owned by Inntown Properties Ltd., Christchurch) is in the centre of the old town and on the axis of an important transport interchange, adjacent to the bus station and railway station and was cleared in 2008. Although there have been development proposals, these are not currently being implemented.
There are opportunities through the Urban Fallow project for the site to develop a real sense of place and purpose and address the design and use statement the council has for this area. Longer term benefits would be the re-enforcement of the image that Eastleigh wants to present for itself, as contemporary, forward thinking and imaginative in the way it does business and the way it communicates, creating an attractive environment in which people would want to live and work. It would act as a catalyst for other potential cultural projects around
vacant properties and as an opportunity to stimulate discussion with the community about how the town develops, and to look at how we can use artists to work with developers and planners.
Partnerships that could be brought into the purview of this project include The Town Centre Partnership, the network of relationships emanating from The Point e.g. local schools and colleges and Southampton Solent University who are keen to be involved in potential exhibition projects. The Asian Welfare committee that organizes the Mela has representation from a wide range of cultural groups and the project could help to facilitate their perspective on aspirations for development in Eastleigh.
Both sites are prime development sites, strategically important for the borough’s economic regeneration strategy. Because of their location and visibility they also have a significant environmental impact. In regard to the cultural strategy, although the sites have no particular cultural importance in and of themselves, they have symbolic value in offering the opportunity for artist/creative led regeneration, as highly visible, landmark projects, providing a mechanism for cross working between economic development, planning policy and culture. Urban Fallow would also deliver directly to the cultural strategy priority of support to the creative industries.
Eastleigh is looking to reposition itself. Whilst being mindful of its heritage as a railway town, it has ambitions to be seen as a contemporary town, which has high quality design, a strong sense of place, a cultural centre and home for creative industries. A new vision for the town centre has been created which is driving investment in the cultural and leisure sector, the creation of hundreds of new homes in the town centre, and Eastleigh Riverside, the largest new employment action zone in the south east. EBC do not want their vision or the confidence in the town’s regeneration to be visually blighted by development sites which have been temporarily moth-balled. Urban Fallow will deliver a number of objectives, helping to keep sites active and be a marketing tool for the economic development of the town, it will improve the look of developments sites so that they do not deteriorate into unkempt and barren areas, it will create work for artists and creatives and engage the local community both at project and participatory level and involving them in our strategic aims.’
Winchester - Hyde Abbey Laundry
The site of approximately 1,500 sq. metres comprises redundant industrial buildings and a yard at the edge of the city centre and close to the Winchester School of Art. The site is considered to be important in townscape terms and being vacant is an underused resource. The Laundry ceased trading in 2007 and has been empty since. It is a short walk from the city centre, near car parks, leisure centre, Winchester School of Art, the Colour Factory artists’ co-operative, but in an otherwise residential neighbourhood. The site consists of a large industrial space with high ceilings, a series of different sized workshops around this main zone, and on its upper floors, office accommodation, staff canteen and a workshop. The private owner and his developer wish to demolish the old buildings and develop the site for housing; however, WCC planning officers wish to see the site or part of the site, retained as offering employment within the city.
Urban Fallow could encourage the owner to consider live-work units and studios for artists to be constructed on the site and demonstrate that there is demand for this type of activity. The Council’s Estates, Arts Development and Economic Development staff have for some years, been looking for potential sites and business models to establish affordable studios in Winchester. While demand is known, the value of assisting
in the establishment of such a scheme is unproven. Urban Fallow has the potential to provide further evidence and advocacy for a permanent studio facility on this site. Winchester City Council would want to work with Winchester School of Art (arts faculty of Southampton University) and the University of Winchester, and the Hampshire Economic Partnership as partners in this scheme.
The building in its present state, although unsuitable for most purposes, is viewed by creative practitioners from a range of practice, as having great potential as studio space (in great demand in Winchester where suitable premises are hard to find – and afford). In the current market conditions, the site is likely to remain ‘fallow’ for some time to come until these issues are resolved, and the market conditions improve.