Following a pause and review, announced earlier this summer, the Welsh Government has confirmed that it will not be proceeding with proposals for two major art installations
As part of the review, Welsh Government officials met with Flintshire County Council, Flint Town Council and a number of local groups and partners to discuss the future development of the historic Flint Castle and Flint foreshore. Welsh Government made it clear that it was committed to significant investment in Flint Castle and to delivering a masterplan for Flint foreshore and Castle in full consultation with local stakeholders.
Whilst there was some support for the current proposed sculpture from stakeholders locally, it was recognised that any decisions on major public art installations would need to be taken in conjunction with the wider masterplan work. Consequently, it was agreed to stop work on the current sculpture and instead focus on using some of the allocated funding to deliver the masterplan, which sets out a vision for a shared multi-use visitor and mixed use centre to support tourism, walking and cycling, and key local organisations including the RNLI and rugby and football clubs.
Economy and Infrastructure Secretary, Ken Skates said:
“We acknowledge that the proposal for the Iron Ring sculpture has been divisive and, following extremely constructive and productive meetings with local stakeholders, have taken the decision not to proceed with the proposed design. Instead, we will use the investment allocated for the artwork to help deliver the wider masterplan for the foreshore, taking in the views of local people. This will include developing a range of capital investments for the area and holding a number of events and activities to increase the understanding of the history of the Castle and the significance of the foreshore. Alongside Flintshire County Council and Flint Town Council, we see development of the masterplan as a high priority.”
Councillor Ian Roberts from Flintshire County Council said:
“We welcome this investment in the Castle and foreshore and the commitment to retain current resources for Flint. Our recent meeting with the Welsh Government was extremely positive and I feel confident that future partnership working will ensure a favourable outcome for the town of Flint which will enhance the historic Castle with its links to Richard II and Shakespeare, the foreshore and the improvement work which has been carried out in the town centre over recent years. We will continue to actively pursue proposals for major public art installations as part of the foreshore masterplan delivery.”