Suzanne Heath - North Yate Heritage Commission
Celestine mining in Yate, c1920. Image © Yate Heritage Centre

North Yate Heritage Commission
Yate, South Gloucestershire

This second creative commission in the North Yate programme will invite an artist to create a new series of permanent site specific public works that will explore the area’s history of celestine quarrying. Yate developed significantly during the 20th century as a centre of manufacturing and the site of Ladden Garden Village was once mined for a mineral called celestine (or spar). By 1960 Yate was the biggest producer of celestine in the world. In the 1960s the Czech sculptor Franta Belsky was commissioned to create an artwork for Yate’s new purpose-built shopping centre which at the time was acclaimed for its modernity. This is the first major art commissioning programme in Yate since that time.

The development occupies 100 hectares of former farmland between the town’s outer suburbs and the more rural aspect at Yate Rocks to the east and Tanhouse Lane to the north. The development will result in up to 2,450 new homes, a new Community Centre and local centre with retail, a new primary school and employment space. It will establish new pedestrian and cycling routes and bridleways across the site, significant new public realm and open spaces including new play areas. The development is due for completion by 2030.

These creative projects enable commissioned artists to explore the physical landscape and heritage of the area and support development of the creative infrastructure within the town. Key aims of the programme are to ensure that the approach supports best practice in public realm commissioning, and prioritises quality and innovation.

Suzanne was appointed by the project landscape architects LDA Design as their art consultant, to research and write the Public Art Plan setting out how this arts programme will be delivered, on behalf of Heron Land. Barratt Homes are now delivering the development and Suzanne is overseeing project delivery on behalf of the housing developer.

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