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Seafront Enhancement Area: 'Iconic Art Venue' proposal leads to bigger picture thinking

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Friday 28 June 2019

The 'Iconic Art Venue' proposal submitted by David Ummels for consideration as development for the current Guernsey Information Centre building, has really helped to raise awareness of the importance of including art as a key theme of wider seafront enhancement, the Chair of the SEA Steering Group has said.

'The amount of art proposals received, as part of the Seafront Enhancement Area programme's initial enhancement projects, and in particular the proposal by David and his team, has changed the thinking around the inclusion of the arts in the wider enhancement of Guernsey's east coast.

However, in this case, the necessity for States of Guernsey funding, alongside the practicalities of making the existing building work for this purpose, meant that the Steering Group decided this proposal would not be suitable for the building.

We wish to place on record our gratitude to the team of the Iconic Art Venue, who demonstrated the significant economic and non-economic benefits that the inclusion of an Art Venue might bring. 

-Deputy Gavin St Pier, Chair of the Seafront Enhancement Area Steering Group

'After 6 months of hard work by the team, we don't feel our time has been wasted, having reached a mutual understanding with the States and creating the foundations on which to build any future initiatives. We consider the highly constructive dialogue like a stepping stone and are confident that an Art Venue will be a central feature of the proposed east coast development. We are committed to play a pivotal role in this regard.

Personally, I wish to take this opportunity to thank my multi-talented team who have shown so much passion, professionalism and commitment to this cause. My thanks extend further to the breadth and depth of the Guernsey community who have backed us so strongly. This has given us confidence and we are actively considering further initiatives.'

- David Ummels, Founder of Art for Guernsey.

As part of the six sites within seafront enhancement programme, discussions will continue with all parties remaining and it is expected to be able to make a formal announcement about the remaining sites identified in this first phase, in the next few months. This follows the recent announcement about plans for La Vallette development. The aim is to have partners in place for as many as possible of the six initial enhancement sites by October this year. The focus of the States will then turn to the next stage and the development of a wider plan for enhancing Guernsey's east coast. Deputy St Pier said:

'Following a very successful stakeholder workshop that we held earlier this year, we have identified a number of considerations that the SEA programme will need to understand and explore further. At the moment we have some evidence of issues and opportunities facing Guernsey's east coast, but we will need to verify this, in partnership with the community, in order to develop our proposals. In many cases, this information already exists so it should not take a significant amount of time to bring it together.'

Our intention is to launch extensive public engagement about the enhancement of the east coast in September, similar to the very successful public engagement programme carried out in 2018 as part of the initial enhancements phase. This resulted in significant public interest and enthusiasm and more than 350 ideas were submitted by the community.

It is integral to this whole process that we ensure the public have a say and a way of letting the States know their thoughts.'

 

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