CQart | in leicester's cultural quarter

The regeneration of the area was kick-started in 2001 with culturally-led capital developments initiated by Leicester City Council. In tandem was the re-visioning and refurbishment of 'the spaces in between' the buildings, the streets and open spaces.

From inception the Cultural Quarter artworks CQart programme was considered an integral part in the creation of new public open space - cyclist and pedestrian access, improved lighting and signage.

So in 2004 the City Council's Cultural Quarter Project Team devised a Public Realm Strategy, a vision with an integral Public Art Concept Plan for the area. On securing funding, including Leicester City Council, European Regional Development Funding Objective 2 programme, Liveability, S106 Developer Contributions, the team developed concept designs, incorporating local community and public aspirations for the area.

The central principle of creating a distinct identity, and making connections, has evolved into the idea of a decorative 'thread' running through the Cultural Quarter. The 'thread' reflects the textile industry that predominated the area. It is envisaged that the 'thread' can be represented physically or virtually, interpreted and take the form of a diverse range of media such as sound, light, water elements or high-quality and bespoke paving materials.

In late 2006 a multidisciplinary team made up of City Council Officers, Focus Consultants, Bardon's Aggregates, Rummey Design Associates, Arts & Special Commissions Programme Consultant & Manager Jasia McArdle, together with the commissioned artists, worked their own magic to transform the area, from run-down and neglected to a light, sparkling, re-invigorated and dynamic place.

The Cultural Quarter commissioned artworks are located in buildings, on streets and in public spaces. The artworks reveal and tell the story of the hidden treasures of St. George's south, the people and places, drawn from its richly mixed historic and recent past, aiming to inspire Leicester people and visitors today and future generations.

If you would like more information on CQart or commissioning site-specific artworks Spirit Projects is happy to help, and can be contacted at jasia@jasia-spirit.co.uk.