When news happens get involved. Send your pictures, views and video to us by text and email
Accolades for Weymouth seafront makeover
A £3.5million revamp of Weymouth seafront, including controversial laser lights, has been recognised in national awards.
The scheme included restoring the George III, Queen Victoria and Henry Edwards statues, as well as the Jubilee Clock.
The Seafront Regeneration Programme also led to the green laser lights, new kiosks and a sand sculpture arena.
It has been highly commended in the Schemes on the Ground category in the Royal Town Planning Institute’s South West Awards It was also shortlisted for Excellence of Planning and Design for the Public Realm in the Royal Town Planning Institute’s National Award for Planning Excellence 2013.
The seafront scheme was shortlisted for a Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors South West & Wales Regeneration Award as well.
Coun Mike Goodman, pictured left, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council management committee chairman, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Weymouth’s seafront improvements have been highly commended in one award and shortlisted for another two national and regional awards.
“It demonstrates that here in Dorset, we are delivering high quality regeneration projects that will have lasting benefits.”
The axing of the coloured fairy lights on the seafront in favour of the lasers sparked opposition in some quarters of the town.
The £450,000 Veils of Light scheme was described as an art-led project rather than specifically as lighting.
Dave Burchill, who was among the opponents of the lasers, said: “I find it amazing that they have been recognised for anything. Everyone I speak to thinks the lasers are a waste of time and space.
“It hasn’t enhanced the lighting effect of the seafront in anyway.”
Mr Burchill said that the deckchairs were good and people liked the upturned boats kiosks, but the sand arena was awful.
He added that he was still hopeful that some coloured lights would return if money was available.
Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, together with Dorset County Council Highways, English Heritage, the Arts Council and private sector businesses, funded and delivered the programme.
The project aimed to improve the historic environment, the quality of life for residents and to enhance visitors’ experiences of the seafront.
Coun Goodman said: “Hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games last year provided the drive for delivering the scheme and the fact that the area was hosting the Games brought in over £1m from English Heritage and the Arts Council.
“The seafront was the focal point for the many visitors to the borough in the Games and together with the Live Site, Sports Arena and images of the beach and Esplanade being screened across the globe, it was important these improvements were made.
“I hope that returning and new visitors to the borough enjoy the improvements to our fantastic seafront.”
THE scheme included:
* Restoration of the George III statue, as well as the statues of Queen Victoria and Henry Edwards and the Jubilee Clock.
* Creation of new sitting out areas to enhance the Esplanade experience and boost local business.
* New privately-owned dual servery ‘boat’ kiosks.
* New highway lighting, as well as refurbished and relocated Victorian lighting columns.
* The artist-led seafront lighting scheme known as The Light Veils.
* A new sand sculpture arena on Weymouth Beach.
* 500 new deckchairs along Weymouth Esplanade designed by residents of Weymouth and Portland.
* Restoration and lighting of the Victorian shelters and more.
Comments are closed on this article.