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Monday, September 22, 2014

You can give your views on the environmental art project 'A Conversational Place'

Come and have your say on an exciting plan to develop an art-themed community garden on unused land by Town Green Station on the Merseyrail network.

Year 5 pupils at Aughton St Michael’s CE Primary School came up with the idea for a ‘Conversational Place’. West Lancashire Borough Council Arts Service supported the school’s successful application for £15,000 Lottery funding from the Arts Council for the scheme.

Merseyrail and Merseytravel are partners in this project and are committed to supporting the project. Artists Jack Doyle and Caroline Barker, collectively known as “We Make That”, are the artists facilitating the design and consultation process. They will be working with the school, Dimples Child Care, Springfield Nursing Home, Pavillion Nursery and St Michael’s Church to implement the final design.

As part of the project the school and West Lancashire Borough Council Arts Service are inviting local people to attend a public consultation event at the school on Thursday 2 October 2014. There are two sessions, one between 2.30pm and 3.30pm and another between 6.30pm and 7.30pm, where residents can learn about the project, meet the partners, find out how they can get involved and give their ideas.

Those who can’t attend the consultation meeting can call the Chapel Gallery on 01695 571328 with their ideas, or email chapel.gallery@westlancsgov.uk. They can also write to Chapel Gallery, St Helens Road, Ormskirk, Lancashire, L39 4QZ and label the correspondence ‘Town Green Station – Environmental Art Project’.

Councillor David Sudworth, portfolio holder for Leisure, said: “The aim is to create a high quality scheme of work that will have a really positive impact on the area. I would encourage everyone to come along to the consultation events and give their views on what could be a really exciting project.”

The pupils got the idea when they did a walk around the village looking for a scheme to help improve the local area as an Archie Bishop project. This is run by the Archbishop of York and is similar to the Duke of Edinburgh Award, but is aimed at younger children. Children saw the land by Town Green train station where people had dropped litter and daubed graffiti and felt this would be the ideal place. The school hopes to take on the long-term maintenance of the area once it is completed. People can keep up to date with progress on the scheme by following the artists’ blog (external link).

Chris Clare, Aughton St Michael’s Primary CE Primary School deputy head teacher, said: “We hope this project will create a real sense of community in the local area. “Therefore, we would welcome all ideas and comments from anyone to ensure it is something that will be enjoyed by everyone for years to come.”

Maarten Spaargaren, managing director at Merseyrail, commented: ”Network Rail has signed over the land to us, and it’s currently being surveyed in preparation for the project. This is a great scheme, which engages lots of people in the local community and we’re delighted to be part of it.”

Merseytravel’s Chair Cllr Liam Robinson said: “We’re delighted to be supporting this project as it’s a great opportunity for the community to get involved in making the land surrounding the public transport network visually attractive for residents, passengers and visitors to enjoy.”

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