In 1988 the Borough Council adopted a Public Arts Policy which focuses attention on the value of putting art in public places. The Borough Council recommends that in future major development schemes proper consideration be given to allocating a percentage of the overall cost for the Arts - a process widely known as PERCENT FOR ART. The developer(s) of the Groundwell West land will be expected to support public art through this policy.
PERCENT FOR ART is an internationally held concept. The majority of European countries, cities and states in the USA, and Australia, up-hold Percent for Art as a valid means of promoting quality in our environment. In this country public art is also well established, local authorities and development corporations actively supporting public art programmes now number over 100 inc. Glasgow, Manchester, Cardiff, Swansea, Cleveland, several London Boroughs and of course Swindon. Many companies and developers also now regularly involve themselves in supporting public art eg. Sainsbury’s, British Steel, Steetley Brick, W H Smith, The Prudential, Clark Homes; to name a few.
The Borough Council has developed in recent years a phenomenal and varied public art collection: 37 murals and 30 works of art (eg. Sculpture, stained glass, furniture, paving design etc.). The Policy principally aims to: promote quality and innovation in our evolving and planned environment; cultivate and progress a stronger sense of the borough’s identity; propound a significant level of positive public debate about art and change in the environment; and to encourage and integrate the imagination and skills of professional Artists in developments.
The Borough Council’s PUBLIC ARTS UNIT will be happy to discuss and explore the value of art for public places with the developer(s) of the Groundwell West Land. Please contact the Planner dealing with your application(s) for an appointment with the Public Arts Officer.24 July 1991