The Mayor of Hailsham, local councillors and artists took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the completion of a new project to install pieces of community art on the inside panels of Eastwell Place Bridge, located near the town centre.
The project, of which Hailsham Town Council provided £1,200 from its Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) fund towards, was carried out by Hailsham Festival organisers to tackle graffiti and improe the bridge aesthetically for residents, whilst promoting Hailsham’s heritage and local history to visitors to the town.
Eastwell Place bridge, an old railway line single-level linear footbridge completed in 1913 and spanning the Cuckoo Trail, is a well-used route linking the town centre with the western and southern wards of the town. Having been subject to graffiti over the years, the bridge has since been cleared of the graffiti and, in order to prevent cases from happening again, the proposal from the Hailsham Festival Committee is for a community arts project involving all of the panels on the inside of the bridge being painted with designs submitted by the public at large.
The bridge consists of 66 separate flat steel panels which were previously painted a plain cream colour with a blue/green painted steel framework. The last maintenance painting was carried out approximately eight years ago, and the surfaces of the inner side faces have now been adorned with various pieces of community art.
Community groups, artist groups, schools, local organisations, local businesses and individuals were invited to take part in the Hailsham-wide community arts project by submitting their designs, of which those reviewed and selected by judges were electronically scanned and reproduced on to the panels.
There are QR codes for each piece of work that identifies the artist/artist group for each panel, providing more information on what the artwork represents.
“Firstly, East Sussex County Council has been supportive throughout the various stages of the project, offering advice and information regarding external funding – and project organisers are grateful for this,” said Deputy Town Clerk & Business Enterprise Manager Mickey Caira. “The Town Council is delighted to have worked alongside Hailsham Festival organisers by contributing towards the funding required to deliver the project. This initiative is yet another collaboration between the Town Council, Hailsham Festival and other partners to support and improve the town centre for residents, businesses, local organisations and visitors.”
“We are very pleased that the project has been completed and that Hailsham Festival’s community vision in delivering this piece of public art has been realised, promoting Hailsham’s heritage to people and drawing on the unique local history and culture of our town.”
Hailsham Festival Chair Tony Biggin commented: “This installation is a perfect example of the way in which the arts can enliven a dull space and provide a showcase for the remarkable range of creative talent in our community.”
Terry Hall, Communications Officer
Hailsham Town Council, Market Street, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 2AE
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