Eagle Shopping Centre

Derby, UK

Client

Westfield Shoppingtowns

Principal Stakeholders

  • Communities of people using the town centre
  • Local Authority: Derby City Council

Summary

Plan worked with Westfield Shoppingtowns and the public art team at Derby City Council to put together a comprehensive programme for art in the public realm at     the Eagle Centre shopping centre in the city centre.

Context

As part of the development of the strategy, Plan conducted careful research into the site and surrounding area to understand the character and history of Derby as a place; this was built upon through interviews with the key members of the arts community in Derby, such as Madeleine Holmes of Q Arts (Q is the major cultural hub within the city) Nick Corbett of Derby Cityscape (the local regeneration agency) and Sarah Reed of East Midland Arts. The result of this research was a number of themes, such as the town’s creative identity, its contribution to engineering and close proximity to areas of great natural beauty. These were used in briefing material provided to artists.

Community

Our approach to consultation centred on residents of Derby who use the Eagle Centre regularly. It was important that our strategy, and the resulting briefs provided to artists, reflected themes and cultural points of reference that would resonate for the people of the town, and allow any cultural projects have a direct connection with place. We therefore spent two afternoon sessions in the Centre talking to people so as to answer some key research questions, for example what aspects of the culture, values and traditions of Derby do they feel should be celebrated and how they feel the experience of the Eagle Centre itself could be rendered more memorable and exciting.  

Outcome

The focus of our strategy was to integrate works into the architecture and public realm at the site in such a way that they would help promote footfall and dwell time in and around the Eagle Centre, stimulate the development of the public realm as a ‘third space’ in which people could interact and enjoy themselves and, finally, provide a stimulating, creative and legible environment for people.

The specific opportunities  identified for physical artistic interventions were the bridge over London Road (one of the major arterial roads through the City), the landscaping immediately surrounding the Eagle Centre, the hoardings that would be in place during construction, and the Food Court area within the centre.

Having concluded the strategy we were then able to put forward a rich dossier of artists drawing on both local and national pools of creative talent. We left the client in a strong position to implement the strategy and fulfil their planning obligations.