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Have your say on public art design for Crewe’s Royal Arcade

Cheshire East Council has revealed two design options for a new piece of public art that will feature as part of its Royal Arcade scheme in Crewe – and the final decision is now down to YOU.

Phase one of the Royal Arcade scheme will see the construction of a new bus station and multi-storey car park in Crewe town centre and is due to be completed by the end of 2023.

At 11am this Friday (22 July), a public vote will open to decide the final design of a ‘heritage wall’ that will feature as part of this phase, as a landmark for everyone arriving in the town centre.

An artist has been commissioned to produce two alternative designs that reference Crewe’s unique heritage and reflect the brand style recently developed for use across the town.

The first design option – ‘Forged by Hand’ – reflects Crewe’s past while looking ahead to what regeneration can bring in the future. 

It features the town's name fostering a sense of civic pride alongside historical images of people working in the industries that helped to shape Crewe. Patterns relating to Crewe’s heritage have been combined with cogs and locomotive wheels.

The second design option – ‘Crewe are people powered’ – shares images of people at work in the town’s well-known industries, as well as at play in Crewe’s carnival. A background image featuring detail taken from a map of Crewe Works has been woven in to complete the effect. 

The winning design will be made of metal sheets with differently sized perforations that form a series of images.

Councillor Nick Mannion, chair of Cheshire East Council’s economy and growth committee, said: “The Royal Arcade scheme provides a fantastic opportunity for new public art that resonates with the local community and shines a light on Crewe’s rich and unique heritage, as well as its promising future.

“And so, as part of our plans, a heritage wall is planned for the side of the new multi-storey car park that will sit above the new bus station.

“The wall will be highly visible to those arriving in the town centre and we have two brilliant options for its design – but we really need YOUR help to decide which one should feature.”

Jac Seifert, of Orakel Workshop, is the designer behind the heritage wall and will be at Crewe Market Hall from 11am-1pm on Friday for the launch of the public vote and to answer questions about the two design options. 

Voting will close at 5pm on 21 August and the winning design will be announced shortly afterwards.

Jac said: “This has been a fantastic project to work on and it’s been fascinating to delve into Crewe’s past and explore its rich heritage, and to learn more about its communities.

“People in Crewe deserve a piece of public art which truly resonates with them. Putting the decision to a vote on which design is to be used is an exciting and engaging way of achieving this and I really hope that as many people as possible get involved. 

“I am also really excited to be visiting the Market Hall on Friday and to talk to people about the inspiration behind the designs – I look forward to seeing which option gets taken forward.”

Recent progress on phase one of the Royal Arcade scheme has included the demolition of the former bus garages, with the next major stage the construction of a temporary bus station.

Regular updates about the works can be found by following @CheshireEast on Twitter and  Facebook.

Cheshire East Council, its development partner Peveril Securities Ltd and contractor Bowmer & Kirkland have committed to keeping an operational bus station on the site throughout all phases of demolition and construction of the new bus station and multi-storey car park.

Voting can be done online or in person from 9am on Friday.

To place your vote online and find out more about the inspiration behind each design for the heritage wall, visit: cheshireeast.gov.uk/heritagewall

Alternatively, have your say at Crewe Market Hall and take a look at the designs by visiting the stand next to ‘Mini Beans’ during daytime hours and casting your vote in the box there.

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