CREATIVE work is set to shape a new bridge in the heart of Grimsby – and those behind the scheme want you to help decide on the themes that will be used.
Meanwhile work is also starting on the carving of ‘fish’-themed benches, with talented chainsaw sculpture Mick Burns up-cycling wood from the old willow tree that was taken from the Garth Lane site, which is undergoing a multi-million-pound face-lift.
Illuminated by fresh lighting and surrounded by public art, decorative street furniture and planting to encourage biodiversity, a new five-metre-wide flat footbridge will be the centre-piece of this transformed Garth Lane and Haven area, where the finished ‘fish’ benches will also sit.
As part of the new ‘Our Haven’ project, residents are now being asked for their views on how the finished bridge should look. The feedback will inspire artists, who are being commissioned to do the work.
The basic bridge design is shown here, and the next step is to look at its structure and embellishments.
It may be that the designs could reflect the past – which includes the legend of Havelock, or indeed the Haven’s significance as a place where Grimsby was founded and subsequently flourished.
Or, people may want to see something that reflects Great Grimsby’s present and future as a hub for renewable energy?
During a consultation event, held last autumn, people were clear that they wanted both of the above reflected in the final design – so it may be that a timeline is settled upon, but again there is a chance for people to express their views on how that should look and suggest materials and colours to influence the style or themes to be depicted.
Local organisation Our Big Picture, led by Paula Denton, has been commissioned by North East Lincolnshire Council’s regeneration partner ENGIE to work on ‘Our Haven’. It is a community heritage and arts project that aims to give everyone from Grimsby the opportunity to explore the town’s heritage of memories, places, objects, beliefs, and legends, and discuss what future heritage might look like.
With face-to-face public consultation difficult, there is more information on how to get involved at the Our Big Picture website and social media pages, where ideas, suggestions and pictures can be posted. All the details for this are below.
Paula wants to encourage individuals, organisations and groups to, for example, take pictures of scenes, buildings or images in Grimsby that resonate with them and send them. They can also draw their ideas, or build bridge models, perhaps from Lego, to post on the Facebook pages. She is also starting to organise social distancing workshop groups for people to take part in.
“We really do want people of all ages in Grimsby to get involved. This is not only about the bridge, but about people exploring what they cherish about our area in the past, present and future,” said Paula.
As Paula’s work continues, Mick the wood carver has now started to sort through the trunks taken from the old willow. The tree was heading towards the end of its natural life in Garth Lane and was taken out – to be replaced as part of the new planting scheme.
With vast experience, Mick is selecting the appropriate shapes and sizes of wood to create at least six benches and/or wooden artworks. Secured by oak supports concreted into the ground, families will be able to sit on some of the structures, whilst others will be higher off the ground for people to touch and lean against.
“There are some interesting shapes, with high corners and almost 90-degree bends. There is real potential here to create some great pieces. As a wood carver you never really know how it will finish until you start – however, there’s never a disaster with this art, there’s just a change of plan, and it will be great to see what the finished carvings will be,” said Mick.
The whole Garth Lane regeneration project, within the Heritage Action Zone, will take around 52-weeks to complete and is supported by the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Local Growth Fund allocation as part of a wider scheme to unlock the potential of Grimsby town centre, and The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government with funding released as a result of the Grimsby Town Deal.
North East Lincolnshire Council leader, Cllr Philip Jackson, said: “What we have here is an opportunity to create a great family space in the heart of Grimsby, and which forms part of our wider plans for the whole of this area. It’s great to see the Garth Lane area, including the West Haven Maltings buildings, kick-starting long awaited regeneration in the centre of Grimsby”
Further information and supportive resources or to upload your creations please visit:
Social Media: Facebook @OurHavenGrimsby