We have worked with local artists Nicola Burrell and Ben Coode-Adams to create distinctive landmarks with a uniquely ‘Colchester’ identity that both announce and invite visitors to explore the independent shopping 'lanes' in the town centre. This forms part of a wider strategy for town centre regeneration that we have been developing with Our Colchester BID since 2019.
Our 2020 report for the BID identified deficiencies and challenges within the town centre, particularly in the wake of the Covid 19 pandemic, proposing a range of physical interventions to improve identity, public-realm and place-making.
Several of the projects we recommended were included in the Town Deal bid, which was successful in achieving £19.2m of Government funding, and that we are now involved in developing for Colchester Borough Council, such as kerbless streets and improved areas of public realm in the town. CBC have also supported the BID in developing some of our other recommendations further, including parklets, improved lighting, signage and welcome packs for businesses. The creative wayfinding project forms part of this strategy and is a response to two junctions within the town centre that form entrances to the ‘lanes’ but suffer from poor signage.
HAT and the artists worked in consultation with local stakeholders and the public to develop the sculptures, which respond to the context of the sites and celebrate the history of the town. Nicola Burrell's piece at the junction of Short Wyre St, Queen St and St Botolph's St was installed in Spring 2022. A stainless steel arch across the street, it features illuminated hanging lanterns displaying the street names and hand built 'building' elements referencing the streets within the route. Local fabricators Wesbroom Engineering were also engaged to assist with the delivery of the structural elements of the piece.
Ben Coode-Adam's work, a painted steel relief sculpture sited on Sir Isaac's Walk, is set to be installed in Spring 2023.