Work began this week to install Phase 1 of LIGHTPLAY at Royal Terrace Gardens in Torquay.
Local contractors Drew & Co have been appointed to work with the award-winning Michael Grubb Studio to complete the installation.
The works which are expected to last for approx. 3 weeks will see remedial works taking place that include fault finding, repairing damaged lighting / circuitry and replacing lighting as required. The second phase of the installation is expected to begin at the end of the summer.
The creative design for LIGHTPLAY has been directly influenced by the residents of Torbay, who as part of the consultation exercise gave their views about the proposed designs and suggestions for themes or stories, they would like to form part of the experience.
Made possible using £200,000 of the £750,000 accelerated funding received as part of the first phase of the Town Investment Plan to enhance areas of key public realm within Torquay, the installation of more creative lighting will encourage more people to connect with the seafront all year round, as well as offering a boost to the night-time economy.
Torquay Museum curators have been supporting the design of LIGHTPLAY by sharing their collections with the team working on the designs. As part of the consultation, Torbay residents expressed a strong desire to see the natural heritage of the area celebrated, with the UNESCO designation and famous local figures including scientist Amelia Griffiths (1768-1858) and geologist and archaeologist William Pengelly (1812-1894) mentioned.
Councillor Swithin Long, Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Tourism and Housing, Torbay Council, said; “It’s great to see our accelerated projects take shape. Each project drives forward a better experience in the town centre, LIGHTPLAY in particular is also an opportunity to showcase our exciting and fascinating local history that both residents and visitors can enjoy.”
Vince Flower, Chairman of the Town Board, said; “This is the first phase of the Town Investment Plan, with longer term objectives including additional private and public sector investment, and new jobs. The Town Board is excited to see our ambitious plan to revitalise and regenerate the town move forward.”
Jacob Brandon, Chair of Torbay Culture, said; “This is a chance to see something distinctive, and locally inspired, created for Torquay with local talent collaborating with external expertise. The new lighting will reflect and celebrate the fascinating cultural heritage of the place, specifically the natural environment, geology and science which is exactly why we are already recognised by UNESCO as part of the network of global geoparks.”
This is just one of a range of multi-million pound projects coming online. These include £21.9m from the government for Torquay Towns Fund, plus £13.35m awarded for the Future High Streets Fund for Paignton. This is in addition to a brand new ‘Torquay Gateway’ train station announced for Edginswell, with £7.8m awarded from Network Rail and Department for Transport for its development. There are also plans to enhance Brixham in line with the Brixham Peninsula Neighbourhood Plan, with key areas earmarked including Harbour regeneration and Brixham Town Centre Car Park redevelopment.