Design team chosen for ‘Mary Portas’ high street project in Toxteth

Design team chosen for ‘Mary Portas’ high street project in Toxteth

Young people aged 14-20 from Tiber have chosen the design team to work with the Loving Lodge Lane Town Team (LLLTT) and create a public square in Toxteth as part of Mary Portas’ campaign to ‘save the high street’ across the UK.

Assemble, a collaborative practice of artists and designers based in London, who impressed the Tiber young people with their previous work and the way they have worked with disadvantaged communities, won the commission to help design the Tiber Square.

Chair of the Tiber young people’s steering group, Joe Ramsden, 20, said: “It was a difficult decision for us to make having to choose from artists shortlisted from across the country who were all really talented and experienced.

“But in the end we were won over by Assemble’s previous work and understanding of the vision the Loving Lodge Lane Town Team has for the area and the way they described how they would work with the local community to create a square that will feel like an integral part of the lane.”

Amica Dall, one of the Assemble team, said: “We are really looking forward to being involved with the development of the square over the coming months. The young steering group asked us some difficult questions at interview, they are clearly dedicated and aware, and really intelligent about the potential wider impact of the square on the whole of Lodge Lane and the population is serves. We are excited to work with them!”

The £10K funding to appoint professional artists and designers to the Toxteth based project, and establish a long term programme of arts based events in the square, has come from the Arts Council. The Arts Council funding is in addition to the £100K fund the Loving Lodge Lane Team secured from the Mary Portas initiative.
LLLTT member, Cherise Smith, 18, said: “We’re really grateful to the Arts Council for backing us and, whilst we still have a great deal of work ahead of us, having Assemble on board is an important step for us in making a public square on Lodge Lane a reality.”

Anthony Preston, Senior Manager of Regional Planning at Arts Council England, said: “Arts Council England is thrilled to be supporting the Portas Pilot in Lodge Lane.

“We were particularly excited by the involvement of young people, the community and local business in creating imaginative and exciting new approaches to this shopping location. There are innovative and creative plans for the use of public space and activities to enhance the experience for shoppers, visitors and local residents.

“Culture and the arts make an important contribution to reviving town centres and high streets in many ways, bringing a uniqueness and appeal to our high streets and can provide access to new audiences to enjoy the arts in unusual settings.

“Finding new uses for properties and public spaces that are currently empty or unused can help change the perception of places, bringing a new energy and excitement to our town centres.”

For more information contact

Tiber website: www.tiber.org.uk

Assemble website: http://assemblestudio.co.uk/

Arts Council website: www.artscouncil.org.uk

Mary Portas website: www.maryportas.com

For more information:

John Ramsden – 07896 992 975

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