Public Vote put on Hold on Artwork for Crewe’s Royal Arcade

Cheshire East Council has been listening to initial feedback and has put on hold plans to host a public vote to decide on the design of a ‘heritage wall’, that will feature as a landmark for people arriving in Crewe’s town centre.

Plans to include a piece of public art as a feature in the construction of a new bus station and multi-storey car park in Crewe town centre, were developed following comments from the public and key stakeholders, such as the Crewe Cultural Forum and various heritage and business groups. The proposed works form part of the council’s wider Royal Arcade scheme.

However, having listened to the initial views on the potential designs yesterday, and because the council is determined to deliver an artwork that resonates with local communities, it will now hold further discussions with stakeholders to review the design proposals and consider how they can be re-presented.

The designer followed a brief as decided on by the council and its stakeholders. She carried out extensive research and explored the Cheshire Archive and other resources. She also followed the brief to include the recently developed Crewe brand, which had been the subject of earlier consultation.

As with any large-scale public art project of this nature, there are factors that all designs need to take into account. The use of a perforated aluminium design allows air to flow into the car park to address requirements around ventilation and fire prevention, which inevitably influences design options. 

This was included in the budget for the car park and was referenced in the planning application for the scheme, subject to a final design, which was awarded planning consent in September last year.

Councillor Nick Mannion, Cheshire East Council

Councillor Nick Mannion, chair of Cheshire East Council’s economy and growth committee, said: “The intention is that there will be a public vote as soon as possible. However, we will take further time to engage with local stakeholders. We will also be undertaking further stakeholder engagement in the meantime in terms of the design.

“It is important that the people of Crewe are happy with what the final artwork will be, as it will be such a prominent and central feature. So, we have listened to what people have said and we will now take all those comments on board, move forward with the artist and review the available options.”