Sculpture shelved as Keynsham to get new clock for town centre

Published on: 07 Sep 2013

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Plans for a sculpture for Keynsham town centre have been shelved after public criticism of the design and calls for a new clock.

The group behind the project - the Arts Advisory Group -  says it has listened to residents and will now work on proposals for a freestanding structure that will include a clock.

An exhibition held last month at the town's library revealed people were not in favour of the proposed sculpture, leading to calls from councillors and the town's Civic Society to go back to the drawing board.

The society criticised the design for not reflecting the town's history - something the new structure will aim to do, says the Arts Advisory Group.

A number of artists and designers will be invited to put forward ideas and the community will be able to decide which design will be commissioned in the autumn.

Keynsham Town Councillor Lisa O’Brien, chair of the group, said, “The consultation result about the sculpture was conclusive. The Arts Advisory Group has listened to local people and acted by deciding instead to adopt a single piece of public art – a freestanding clock with references to local history and heritage. There will be on-going consultation on the design over the forthcoming months, so that everyone can have the chance to have their say.

“The Advisory Group is looking forward to using the passion, interest and energy of the local community to develop a clock of which local people can feel proud and which will mark the regeneration of Keynsham as a celebrated milestone in the town’s history.

"We have made changes to improve communication links with Keynsham residents. Meetings are now conducted with an elected chair and the recording of minutes which will subsequently be made available for all to see on the Keynsham Town Council website and Arts Advisory Group Facebook page.”

The Arts Advisory Group comprises representatives from the local community, businesses, and the town council, but membership will be extended to other members of the community "with expertise in arts and communications", according to B&NES Council.

Council leader Paul Crossley said:“We’ve always said that the best people to make decisions about the design of a piece of public art that can suitably recognise the rich, vibrant history of Keynsham are local residents. The council is pleased to be working with the Advisory Group and support them on this project. We hope as many people take part in the consultation as possible.”

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