Blackpool Public Art Commission: 'Meet me at the Windmill'

Deadline: 14/10/2019  |  Published: 16/09/2019  |  Venue: South Shore  |  City: Blackpool  |  Region: Lancashire  |  Country: United Kingdom  |  South Beach Beacons

Paid opportunity

Report this?
The deadline for this opportunity has passed, and no more submissions are being accepted. Click here to have a look at other opportunities listed on CuratorSpace.

South Beach Beacons are inviting proposals from artists, arts collectives or arts organisations to design and build a temporary public sculptural artwork inspired by the Windmill that used to occupy the proposed site at Waterloo Headland, South Beach, Blackpool. The work will need to be constructed between January and March 2020 ready for launch in April 2020.

The £7,000 commission will need to provide a visually striking landmark for South Beach, and act as a beacon for the local community that has to date been invisible and suffered from economic deprivation. The work would ideally be visible at night as well as by day. We would like the community to be involved in some small way in the making and or launch. Two local artists have been engaged to assist in the making, and you will be given production support. We would like you in turn to support these local artists to understand your process of public art making. 


By South Beach Beacons 

Deadline Monday 14th October 2019, 5pm

Proposed public unveiling Saturday 4th April 2020



The South Beach Beacons are a group of residents, business people and interested parties who work together to improve the South Shore area of Blackpool, specifically the area we term ‘South Beach’. A new CIC, we have to date delivered ‘Miss Informed’ historical tours with Jenny Wilson and Irregular Arts, and ‘Blackpool Carnival’ in 2017. The open call sits amongst a series of plans forming a strategy of improvement for the area. These include measures to celebrate the area's heritage, a retail academy to improve the performance of the area’s only industry, community family events and future arts commissions.


South Beach includes Waterloo Road between the Promenade and railway line, and Bond Street between Waterloo Road and Station Road along with the homes that are served by the two high streets. The area was once a desirable area both to live and visit. It now includes the 5th and 7th most deprived neighbourhoods in England of its 33,000. It has little community feeling, just endemic apathy, with residents and businesses alike feeling helpless, hopeless and voiceless. It forms part of Blackpool’s transient corridor which runs parallel to the glorious new Promenade, just one street back with ex-tourist accommodation being filled with many who struggle with life and have fled from problems elsewhere.


The commission is supported by Arts Council England and Blackpool Council. 


South Beach Beacons are inviting proposals from artists, arts collectives or arts organisations to design and build a temporary public sculptural artwork inspired by the Windmill that used to occupy the proposed site at Waterloo Headland, South Beach, Blackpool. The work will need to be constructed between January and March 2020 ready for launch in April 2020. 

The successful applicant will receive funding, publicity around their commission and support from the South Beach Beacon’s project production team to realise their idea. This opportunity is open to artists with experience of making public art residing in the UK or beyond. We welcome proposals from, as well as proposals for a new artwork. We are looking for works that are bespoke to place but are happy to accept proposals by artists who wish to develop an existing work so long as the content can be appropriately framed or adapted to make the work relevant to this brief.

South Beach Beacons are committed to promoting equality and diversity across our programme and we actively encourage applications from artists of any ethnicity, gender and irrespective of any disability.

We are particularly interested in sculptural and or light art of a scale that:

1) has a sufficient scale and impact in the setting 

2) is ideally visible at night, as well as during the day from vistas overlooking Waterloo Headland in South Beach, Blackpool.

3) is a visually striking new landmark for South Beach, connecting residents to the heritage of the place by eluding to the windmill (folly) that once stood in the proposed location

4) acts as a beacon, encouraging interaction and exploration of the work, eluding to the windmill (folly) where people used to meet

Applicants are required to show their work for 12 months from April 2020. The artwork must be rigged and signed off by Blackpool Council Health and Safety office by late March 2020 and derig will not be possible before April 2021. 


South Beach Beacons will be awarding one commission of £7,000 inclusive of VAT and any on costs. It is expected this will be broken down as £4,000 for fees and £3,000 for materials and fabrication. The successful applicant will receive funding, publicity around their commission, support from 2 assistant artists, production support, access to volunteers, basic accommodation, basic making facilities, access to a transit van/trailer and insurances for the artwork.  


We would like this commission to be planned between November to December 2019, and made between January and March 2020 ready for launch in early April 2020. It is expected that the artwork will be installed for at least 12 months. Evaluation period March to April 2020. 


We are looking for a landmark and community beacon for South Beach. Residents have to date been invisible and suffered from economic deprivation. The temporary public sculpture is expected to foster a visual identity, promotes pride and togetherness. 

We have carried out community consultation with our residents and the overwhelming response has been for an artwork that links to the former windmill (folly) that was on the headland for forty years. This is a the only shared living memory by local residents, bringing back memories of where they used to meet. There is a perceived view that only tourists are served locally. We would like to counter this view by creating something for the residents. See community consultation section for more information.


The public art work is proposed to be situated on the Promenade’s Waterloo Road Headland. It will be placed and significantly-sized so that it is seen from anywhere on Waterloo Road up to the bridge beside the Blackpool South Railway station. 

This area is in the heart of the family seaside resort of Blackpool. The Waterloo Headland is earmarked to contain children’s play equipment, so the work should be able to sit alongside this, and primarily service the local community.

It is vital that the installation will withstand very high winds and rain in this location. The successful applicant will be required to submit detailed making specifications in November/December 2019 and liaise with South Beach Beacons production team on Health & Safety compliance and production delivery. 

Images have been supplied of the location, see gallery.


We would like you to consider the environment in your choice of materials. And can help with this through our community partnerships. For example we have a partnership with Love Your Beach who can organise beach combing for waste plastics to provide raw materials. And can talk to the local university about their utilising their solar power research projects. 


Two local artists, one junior and one mid-career, have been engaged to assist in the making. We would like you to support these local artists to understand your process of public art making.  In return you will gain making support. We will support you to develop a plan for how you will best work together. Two local arts students will also shadow this process and assist in any making if appropriate.  And we can give you access to regional technical support. 


We would like you to consider how the community can be involved in some small way in the making and or launch. The local artists can assist with facilitating this activity. We have access to the local school, youth group and businesses. 


All successful applicants will also be required to complete evaluation feedback on the project for Arts Council England reporting. 


We would particularly enjoy a continued relationship after this project, and be interested to hear how you might continue a creative relationship with us. 


For all enquiries on our arts commissions, please use the ‘contact the curator’ form. 


All completed applications will be reviewed for award by a community panel, and you will be notified of the decision in writing, via email. Unfortunately, due to limited resource we are not able to offer feedback on unsuccessful applications.


Site visit for artists to assess requirements (where relevant) can be arrange, please make contact (see contacts)

* Artists are invited to submit proposals until 5pm on Monday 14th October 2019

* Selection of artists by week beginning 28th October 2019 

* Provisional artist meeting Tuesday 29th October 2019


Commissions will be paid in two installments: 90% at the start date following confirmation of funding and provision of a detailed budget. 10% on satisfactory completion of the project and the project self-assessment and evaluation.


* The commission is open to artists experienced in public art making. This includes individual artists, collectives or any form of creative organisation from the UK or beyond. 

* Applicants with additional funding (who are applying for a portion of the cost of a co-commissioned work) are eligible. 

* Proposals for developments of existing work are eligible. 

* The artwork must be presented for at least 12 months in the proposed location on South Beach promenade.

* All project expenditure must take place after the panel decision has been formally announced to the successful applicant. 


We are looking for high impact, visually engaging piece that is suitable for the location.  We will also be assessing proposals based upon the following factors: 

* Is the artistic idea clearly described? 

* Will the activity make a strong visual impact on the local community, as a landmark? 

* Has community and local heritage been considered in the idea? 

* Is there a clear and realistic breakdown of budget and expenditure? 

* Is there evidence of value for money? 

* Has the applicant considered logistical and production issues? 

* Are there sufficient human resources in place to deliver the project? 

* Is there a demonstrable track record of delivering similar projects or activities? 

* Has environmental impact and ability to withstand poor weather conditions been considered in the design of the work? 


A community panel will select the successful applicant. The short list may be invited to take part in a phone or online interview if the panel considers it necessary. 


Artists are required to complete the online application form. Go to the ‘make a submission’ tab and upload the relevant documents to be considered. 


You will need to upload the following documents when completing the online application form. 

1) Artist contact details 

2) Upload your proposal 

3) Upload your CV or biography 

4) Artist website or social media address 

5) Up to 5 images of past work 


Community consultation has been undertaken to help us understand the community demand. Here are a selection of their comments.

* Mark: I would like to say a windmill as it's something I miss from the Headland! But I think personally it should be something contemporary, remarkable and striking to promote the area.

* Vince: A windmill similar to the one they stole from Manchester Square years ago ... it was always lit up and the sails turning during the Illuminations, and would be a great sight for kiddies during the lights.

* Dean: I have a windmill design. It's a happy windmill. It looks like a traditional toy windmill but it's bigger, it makes people happy with free WiFi and charging points and funny media.

* Kevin: Definitely the windmill, iconic structure for many years ... would love to see it in its rightful place again and wonder if it could be converted to a power producing source of electricity?

* Gerald: Something that would be a landmark. A windmill or lighthouse, possibly with a solar powered light.

* Geraldine: Put a windmill back. Still looks odd without it.

* Marian: Definitely a windmill - this is after all windmill-land. The previous idea of a shrimp fisherman with net is excellent too. Both symbols of how our forebears worked for a living

* Anne: A windmill please thank you the memories are important to thousands of residents and visitors alike.

* Noreen: The Windmill. You could always see when you were getting near Waterloo Road

* Barbs: The windmill could be moving and solar powered and light up a Blackpool sign at night ... I was gutted when the knocked the windmill down

* Julie: Many sentimental reasons why folk are asking for a windmill - most wanting to see the return of a fond memory to our Promenade.


Contact the curator
What do I need to submit in my application?
Your submission(s) should include the following:

1) Artist contact details
2) Proposal
3) CV or biography
4) Artist website or social media address
5) Up to 5 images of past work
What is the value of the commission?
The Community Commission is £7,000 including VAT and any on costs.
How will the payments be made?
Commissions will be paid in two instalments:
- 90% at the start date.
- 10% on satisfactory completion of the project and evaluation
What is the deadline for submission?
Monday 14th October 2019, 5pm
What is the selection timescale?
- Thursday 14th October 2019, 5pm - deadline for submission
- Week beginning 28th October 2019 - applicants will be notified of results
Who is on the selection panel?
Submissions will be awarded by members of the local community of South Beach, including South Beach Beacons, local businesses, young people and Left Coast.
Who do I need to contact with any more queries?
Please contact the production manager Baz Garrod in the first instance using the 'contact curator' tab.
What should I include in my proposal?
Your proposal should be no more than 5 pages long, fully describing your proposed art work. Please include
- artwork overview
- artwork visualisation
- technical specifications and risk
- project work plan
- budget
- creative practitioners involved and previous experience of related making.

In your proposal please consider:
The idea - how it relates to the heritage and will engage South Beach community
What it will look and feel like
Expected process and outcomes
How you would work with the 2 local artists and community
What should I include in the budget I submit with my proposal?
The fee is £7,000 including VAT and on-costs. You will be asked to submit a commission budget which breaks down project expenditure. It is expected this will be broken down as £4,000 for fees and £3,000 for materials and fabrication.

What to include: We would expect this to include:
- Cost of materials
· Artist fees
· Travel and transport

What not to include: While the work is expected to be as self-sufficient as possible, South Beach Beacons would expect to cover the costs of:
· Insurance
· Power
- Basic artist accommodation for overnight stays in Blackpool
- 2 local assistant artists fees
- Access to transit van / trailer
- Press publicity
- Production support

You must have an account to send a message to the curator of this opportunity. Registering only takes a few moments. Once registered you'll be able to keep track of all of your submissions and get updates on upcoming opportunities.


Already have an account? You must log in to send this curator a message.