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Council reveals final design for artwork at Crewe’s Royal Arcade

Cheshire East Council has shared the final design for a new piece of public artwork which will appear in Crewe as part of its Royal Arcade scheme.

The artwork – known as the heritage wall – will be incorporated into phase one of the Royal Arcade scheme – a new bus station and multi-storey car park – and will be a prominent landmark for everyone to enjoy when they arrive in the town centre. 

The final design of the artwork has been chosen following a series of online and in-person engagement events over the past few weeks with the public, local councillors, Crewe Town Board and culture and heritage groups.

The council is now able to reveal the final artwork, which is presented in a video explaining the design process. The video has been specially produced by the artist, Jac Seifert of Orakel Workshop. 

Councillor Nick Mannion, chair of Cheshire East Council’s economy and growth committee, said: “Our intention has always been to deliver an artwork that resonates with local people. I feel very confident that we truly do have that and that the final design reflects all the feedback we received.

“When we put forward design options during our consultation events, we received some really valuable comments on both the overall designs and the aspects of the designs that people felt best represented Crewe. 

“Jac then used this information to put forward a final design that reflected the feedback we were given, and I am confident that what has been produced represents the town’s past, present and future in a very positive light.

“We are now ready to move forward with the project, so that we can continue our progress with phase one of the Royal Arcade.”

Jac Seifert from Orakel Workshop, said: “The artwork is a celebration of Crewe’s history as a world leader in technical innovation, manufacturing and engineering.

“It will be produced as an aluminium facade with many tens of thousands of punctured holes making up the design, combining contemporary patterns inspired by the town’s railway and engineering heritage, with imagery of the people who worked in the industries that were intrinsically linked to its progress. 

“Researching Crewe’s story and being able to engage with members of the community and local cultural groups inspired me to create an artwork that will hopefully evoke pride and a sense of arrival by connecting the modern town to its heritage and people.

“I wanted to communicate the energy that drove Crewe’s growth; and the physicality of the town’s heritage is accentuated by the use of ‘Forged by Hand’, which sits atop the bold inclusion of the town’s name. 

“The combination of a heritage-themed artwork using a contemporary and innovative fabrication process, reflects Crewe’s reputation as an engineering leader at the cutting-edge of manufacturing, as well as its relevance to the town’s identity today.”

The wall of the car park – above the bus station – will have a perforated metal wall to meet ventilation requirements.  This enabled the council to commission a piece of artwork, based on a perforated pattern or image, with the added benefit that it will not cost any more than the basic metal wall.

The final design will be in place when the first phase of the Royal Arcade scheme is completed, at the end of 2023. 

Pictured - The video detailing the process of how the final design was produced.

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