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Bussey and Armstrong

Bussey and Armstrong

The Westpark Arts Strategy uses text-led public art to create a dynamic interface between artists, architects, developers, and the local authorities.

The Westpark Arts Strategy began in 2000, using text-led public art to create a dynamic interface between artists, architects, developers, and the local authorities in a new housing development in Darlington. Over the last twenty years, combining Professor Bill Herbert’s arts briefs with his specially-composed verse, a series of sculptors, artists, designers, landscape architects, and fabricators have produced a series of work. This work includes:

  • sculptures
  • landscape features
  • street furniture
  • films
  • street signs
  • and publications

Westpark has won numerous awards, including the North East Award for Regeneration, a Regional Renaissance Gold Award from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the National Award for Constructing Sustainable Communities, and the Green Flag Award from the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Its partners have included the Arts Council and New Writing North. In 2016 it gained a Knowledge Transfer Partnership to embed researchers from Newcastle University with the main developer, Bussey and Armstrong, to investigate the impact of these decades of creative innovation on the residents, the local community, and on visitors to, and companies involved with, Westpark.

New building and new art continue in tandem in the latest phase of this long-running large-scale collaboration, and research continues into its national significance at a time when we urgently need new and sustainable housing which puts community and culture at the heart of its design and development.