Public Art Commissions for Kirkham Town Centre

05 January 2022 by Ed

Fylde Borough Council and The Paul Hogarth company are looking to commission artists / makers to undertake the development of several site-specific works within the town centre funded through Historic England’s Future High Street fund, which recognises heritage and culture as being one of the main drivers for regeneration.

Public Art Commissions for Kirkham Town Centre

Fylde Borough Council and The Paul Hogarth company are looking to commission artists / makers to undertake the development of several site-specific works within the town centre. These commissions are integral to the overall vision for the public realm, designed by The Paul Hogarth Company. The public art programme is being funded through Historic England’s Future High Street fund, which recognises heritage and culture as being one of the main drivers for regeneration.

The Site

Urban design specialists The Paul Hogarth Company have formulated plans to reimagine Kirkham's public realm as part of the town’s regeneration masterplan, supported by both Historic England and the Government’s Future High Streets Fund.

The Phase One public realm plans involve enhancing streets and pavements within Kirkham’s central Conservation Area, which include Market Square and sections of Poulton Street, Freckleton Street, Church Street and Preston Street.

Throughout the design process the plan has been informed by a series of consultation events involving residents and businesses.

Proposed Scheme

The vision is to revitalise historic Poulton Street, Preston Street, and Market Square by:

Restoring and repurposing key buildings with new uses. Improving the visual appearance of the shops and streets and introducing new and more diverse uses such as residential, skills, employment and training, new leisure, and restaurants, to encourage a more diverse offer and enhanced evening economy.  The public art is central to placemaking and integral to the high-quality urban design, enhancing the public realm and making the centre more attractive to families, shoppers, and visitors.

  • The long term Masterplan and the suggested projects to take forward over the next 4 years have been identified to meet the two key aims of the Future High Street Fund (FHSF) and High Street Heritage Action Zone (HS HAZ) Fund:
  • To deliver structural transformation through capital investment in land, buildings, and infrastructure.'
  • To renew and reshape town centres and high streets in a way that improves experience, drives growth and ensures future sustainability.’
  • Kirkham has been successful in its application to Historic England for the HS HAZ and, together with key stakeholders, we will now embark upon a 4-year programme of work to revitalise the town centre.  Alongside this, Fylde BC has been successful in securing funding from the Future High Street Fund, this regeneration will represent the biggest investment in Kirkham in a generation. 
Kirkham’s Heritage

Kirkham has a rich and diverse heritage that includes a roman settlement, a medieval market, and a great textile industrial past. During the 19th century eleven textile mills once dominated the townscape, with sail cloth being the main export, and at a much later date, cloth to make parachutes. Another important aspect of the town’s heritage is Club days, this procession is Kirkham’s main annual celebration, which is organised by local community groups including churches, schools, community groups, associations, and organisations. This event has a long and illustrious history and has been reported on in newspapers from the Victorian period onwards. To much acclaim, a roman shield boss was excavated in the 1800s causing great excitement, this artifact can be viewed in the British Museum in London. It is thought that there are probably many more archaeological treasures to be found, maybe lying just beneath the surface waiting to be revealed.  

For a brief history of Kirkham visit 

Artistic Approach

Historic England view the public art element as integral to the main public realm programme. Identifying it as providing important opportunities for collaboration with the local community, delivering a high-quality programme of active engagement that will result in the realisation of site-specific artwork that will celebrate the town’s heritage creating a strong sense of place, while preserving the past for future generations.

The commission opportunities range from engravings in sandstone paving, forged railings, artwork for ginnels, and the utilisation of a B7 red telephone box to create an innovative art installation.

Artists are encouraged to submit expressions of interest for one standalone commission or develop a scheme of work that would include several, developing an overall strong narrative /concept, thereby creating a cohesive programme of work.

This is a unique opportunity for artists and creatives to make their mark on Kirkham. The works commissioned will be preserved for countless years to come and will be a celebration of the town’s heritage.

An introduction to the Public Art Commissions

Historic England’s Future High Street programme provides exciting opportunities for artists to develop site specific artwork. Kirkham is a town with a history of making and creating, once dominated by eleven textile mills, it produced cloth for all manner of goods. It now seems fitting to have a programme that recognises the importance of heritage and creativity in assisting in the regeneration of the town.

There are four distinct commissions within the programme, one is focused on paving involved in the redevelopment of the streetscapes of Poulton Street/Preston Street/Church Street/Freckleton Street as well as Market Square. The Square was a place where the medieval Market once took place, with a market charter being granted in 1269. The square includes the famous grade ll listed fish stones, that have been preserved throughout the centuries.

The vision is to create a beautiful central space, where people can enjoy events or just relax and enjoy their leisure time. Reintroducing sandstone, which was once the stone of choice.

The other commissions include the creation of forged metal railings, the sympathetic transformation of one of the ginnels and the use of a telephone box to create an innovative heritage inspired art installation.

Each commission has been planned to include some form of engagement, whether it be   through consultation, an educational element, or a programme of active engagement. The aim is to take the community on a journey and provide opportunities for collaboration.


Stone Engraving/inlays To create bespoke artwork, inspired by Kirkham’s heritage. Designs will be engraved/inlayed onto sandstone as elements of paving, low walls, or seats

Southeast Ginnel – To develop a programme of site-specific work, inspired by Kirkham’s heritage that will transform this area into a wonderful space, a treasure waiting to be discoveredThe Concept will recognise that this is one of a number of ginnels, with the others likely to form part of a future phase of work.

Telephone Box – To create an innovative artwork, inspired by Kirkham’s heritage, that will alter in response to community engagement during a 12-month period.   

Forged railings – This commission is not included as part of this document. Separate documents will be distributed to appropriately qualified and experienced Blacksmith Artists. 


Stone engravings and inlays for Market Square and other designated areas

Budget: £10,000 (including any expenses incurred)


We are looking to appoint a talented artist who will develop a proposal for the streetscape and Market Square, animating the paving and other stonework with a heritage inspired concept that will celebrate the history and local heritage of Kirkham.  This could include sketches, text, symbols being engraved and may include areas of inlay.

It is proposed that footways will be surfaced with sandstone, a material that was part of the traditional market town but has largely been lost in recent years.

It is proposed to identify several locations where slabs or blocks (seat ends/walls) are engraved or inlayed with metalwork. These elements will provide coherence throughout the scheme, whilst providing moments of interest that engage people.

The artist will be required to develop their designs in partnership with the local community, managing the overall aesthetic to ensure it is coherent and of high quality; developing a concept that can be integrated into the public realm.

The artist will engage with the Principal Contractor and a specialist contractor (Artscape or similar and approved) to undertake the engraving / inlay work and to fulfill the requirements of the brief.  The stone will be purchased by the Principal Contractor from a specialist stone supplier (Hardscape or similar and approved). The stone will be transported to the specialist contractor (Artscape or similar and approved) who will engrave the stone or inlay the metalwork before the stone/artwork is transported back to site and delivered to the Principal Contractor. The artist must inspect and approved the stone/artwork before it is transported to site and delivered to the Principal Contractor.  

Please be aware that the artist will have to cover the costs associated with the transportation of the stone products to the specialist contractor and from the specialist contractor to site (Principal Contractor) unless this is already covered by the stone supplier (Hardscape or similar and approved). Please liaise with the Principal Contractor once appointed.

The artist will be responsible for managing the costs for the engraving /inlay work and keeping within the agreed budget. The artist will identify where the designs will go within the overall scheme. This information must be shared with the Principal Contractor.  The artist must liaise with the specialist contractor (Artscape or similar and approved) and provide the design information in a format that is required by the specialist contractor).  

(Artscape are a company that create bespoke artwork using stone and other materials. Their parent company is Hardscape, who are a company that supply stone products. It is assumed that the Principal Contractor will purchase the stone products for the Kirkham Public Realm scheme from Hardscape, but please be aware that this is currently only an assumption).


  • To consult and engaged the local community in the creation of a bespoke, high-quality concept for the streetscapes and Market Square, including elements that can be integrated into the public realm.  Seeking to promote a sense of ownership and local pride.
  • To ensure that the designs created in collaboration with the community are realised in a style and format that is agreeable to the company, who will be engraving or creating the inlays. This will ensure an overall high-quality aesthetic.
  • To deliver a high-quality program of work delivered in line with the outlined schedule, liaising with the Principal Contractor to ensure the installation is on time, and within the agreed budget.

Schedule of work

We are looking to appoint the preferred artist by the end of February, with the design and engagement phase being completed by the end of May. The engravings / inlays will be undertaken at the end of July with the completed work being delivered to the Main Contractor for installation from August 2022 onwards.

Applications of interest will be reviewed in January 2022, when we will invite those shortlisted to an interview on Friday 25th February 2022 (via zooms/ or teams).


Ginnel Artwork

Budget £50,000

The three ginnels that links Poulton Street to the Mill Street carpark are required to become attractive and enticing pedestrian routes by day and after dark.

Whilst only the eastern-most one is part of the initial phase of investment, this artwork commission should develop a vision for all three and how they integrate with the streetscapes and Market Square. The proposed budget is for a cohesive vision and delivery of the works to the eastern-most one. The Client may, but has no obligation to do so, subject to funding negotiate with the appointed artist to deliver the other elements

The vision for the ginnel is that the resulting artwork should be inspired by Kirkham’s heritage and provide a unique experience, while also being sympathetic to the developments taking place. There is significant potential for an integrated scheme of work that would include elements for both the footpath and walls, maybe with features that would be lit at night (wall murals, sculptural elements, lighting, etc.).

Lighting has been considered as part of the Public Realm works, which will ensure that there are consistent, safe levels of light, along with high quality sandstone paving surfaces (including engravings/inlays).


  • To create a site specific, innovative proposal, inspired by heritage, that will result in an attractive, inviting space.
  • To provide a high-quality community engagement programme, which includes opportunities for active engagement with schools and other local groups
  • To deliver a high-quality programme of work on time and within the agreed costs.
  • The work must be low maintenance and conform to all health and safety requirements
  • All elements of the commission must comply with all current and relevant building regulations and British standards.

Schedule of work 

We would look to appoint the preferred artist at the end of February 2022

Design & Community engagement programme to be completed by end of July 2022

Off-site works August 2022 to January 2023

On-site installation January 2023

Applications of interest will be reviewed in January 2022, when we will invite those shortlisted to an interview on Friday 4th March 2022 (via zooms/ or teams).


Telephone Box – Art Installation

Fee: £10,000 (to include all expenses and materials)


The B7 red BT telephone box on Poulton Street is Listed and is a piece of street furniture that many have fond memories of, with the bright red box conjuring up strong feelings of nostalgia for many. It is also a landmark in the streetscape, but no longer functions as a phone box and was recently used for a temporary art installation.

It is proposed to restore the phone box, re-setting it vertically (it is currently at an angle) and re-painting it.

This commission seeks to put the phone box center stage, using it to create an installation, be it visual, or sound, or maybe a combination of both, maybe with spoken word or poetry. It is proposed that a 12-month programme be curated, so that it continues to change throughout the 12-month period, in response to a community engagement programme.

Once the commission is completed the Telephone box should be left in a state that would allow for its use as a tool for continued cultural engagement.


  • Develop an art installation for a Traditional Telephone Box in the centre of Kirkham Town Centre, inspired by local heritage.
  • Provide a programme of high-quality community engagements that will lead to the installation changing through a period of 12 months.
  • Create work that is low maintenance and conforms to health and safety requirement.
  • The commission should result in the creation of a design that allows for its continued use as a small cultural space by the community, maybe to display miniature artworks, or provide access to a treasure trove of local stories/ memories / sound.
  • The art installation should be planned to provide significant impact during both the day and night, animating the street scene and providing a talking point. There is power within the phone box to allow for lighting and maybe movement.  

Any design that affects the structure will be required to have planning permission.

Schedule of works

We would look to appoint a preferred Artist by the end of March 2022, with the work planned to start in September 2022, with the launch of an engagement programme planned to be completed by December 2022. The installation of the work will take place in March 2023 this will be followed by a curation of changes over the next 12 months, in response to the engagement programme.  

Applications of interest will be reviewed in January 2022, when we will invite those shortlisted to an interview on March 4th, 2022 (via zooms/ or teams).

Submit an Expression of Interest - Deadline January 28th by 12 noon.

Should you choose to submit, we are assuming that you have read and understood all the requirements.  You also have the capacity to undertake the work specified and can deliver the work by the dates stated.

Your submission should include the following information: -

Which commission(s) you are interested in.

A – Stone engravings and inlays

B- Ginnel Artwork

C – Telephone Box – art installation

-        A short statement about you and your work/process.

-        A brief idea of how you would approach the commission (no more than 1 side of A4).

-        Up to 6 images of your recent work.

-        Attach a CV if you have one - including links to your website and any press/social media.

Please note the deadline for submissions is, 28th January by 12 noon, please forward your submission to the Cultural Producer for Kirkham HAZ Cultural Programme

Please note if shortlisted the interview date will be as follows for the following commissions: -

  • Interviews for shortlisted candidates, for commission A 25th February 2022
  • Interviews for shortlisted candidates, for commission B, 4th March? 2022
  • Interviews for shortlisted candidates, for commission C, 4th March? 2022

Join our mailing list

Keep up to date with the latest news