In conjunction with wider works in the resort, the area has been awarded a grant from the Coastal Communities Fund specifically to improve the arts and culture offer, with a twist. It will deliver a sculpture larger in height than the Angel of the North, dynamic swirling illuminations, funky fitness street furniture, and the longest outdoor contemporary visual gallery in the UK.
Earlier this year, some specialist public art consultants were employed, Andrew Knight and Hazel Colquhoun, to work with Hodson Architects to carry out research with businesses and local people. People were really keen to improve the appearance, see more colour, update and refurbish and provide more areas of interest.
The approach taken by the consultant was to consider the North Prom in its entirety, celebrating it as a public place – a stage and linear viewing platform from which to enjoy the grand panorama of sea and sky. It recognised the promenade as a distinct and special place dedicated to leisure, walking, and procession for the good of mind and body, not forgetting the entertainment and attention of others.
Cllr John Fenty from North East Lincolnshire Council said: “Art can be controversial. Did you know that the Angel of the North was strongly opposed, but now is a much loved landmark? The objective of the overall project is to drive footfall along the North Prom which will have a positive impact on businesses and health and wellbeing.
“I would like to thank CoastNEL and their North Prom group for the major contribution to this project. The four new public art projects will be centred around Cleethorpes’ stunning seascape and miles of golden sands, encouraging activity and events, relaxation and contemplation, all in equal measure. Public art can be marmite – love it or hate it, it’s a talking point. If The White Palm lures you down the North Prom don’t forget to buy a stick of rock, or an ice cream, then it’s job done!”
The next phase is detailed design work for each of the elements, and in the case of the White Palm, application for planning permission which will go through the normal planning process.