Council to make decision on Whitley public art

The Oscar Wilde memorial walk, created by Bruce Williams.

Reading Borough Council (RBC) will make a decision at their 6 September planning applications committee on whether to go ahead with the siting of three new public artworks entitled the ‘Whitley Wood Album’, created by the same artist who made the gates and fences on the Oscar Wilde memorial walk in central Reading.

Tesco contributed £75,000 towards the commissioned artworks as part of an agreement to build a distribution warehouse on the site of the Courage brewery at Worton Grange.

Tesco had been asked to provide an artwork for the A33 Imperial Way roundabout or near the distribution centre. The commissioning process proved difficult, and in December 2015 the council agreed that Tesco could pay a contribution to RBC who would then make all arrangements instead.

The report to the planning committee states:

The money was paid in January 2016 and since then officers in the Council’s community team have been involved in selecting and instructing an artist (Bruce Williams, who produced the images on the Oscar Wilde Memorial Walk by the Kennet), consulting with neighbours and councillors and working out the practical details of providing the chosen art works in the proposed locations.

The three works are photographic images represented on painted metal of the Rabson Rovers football team (171423), local Whitley people (171425) and the dinner ladies and pupils from Geoffrey Field School (171424).

The council sent letters to residents on Northumberland Avenue on 16 August telling them that the work had been commissioned and that it was about to go to through the planning process.

The council has proposed to erect the Rabson Rovers artwork away from the John Rabson recreation ground, at the shopping precinct 500 metres south along Northumberland Avenue.

Rabson Rovers football club memorabilia and archives are at the heart of the Whitley Community Museum collection based at the Whitley Social Club and Community Café on Northumberland Avenue.

The committee meeting will take place at 6.30 pm on Wednesday 6 September at the Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading, RG1 2LU and is expected to be webcast.


Links
  1. Courage Brewery (with images) – Brewerypedia
  2. Planning applications committee 6 September 2017 – papers
  3. Planning applications committee 9 December 2015 – papers
  4. Tesco distribution warehouse at Worton Grange (110808)
  5. Planning applications for artwork 171423, 171424 & 171425
  6. Bruce Williams website
  7. The Community Museum in Whitley
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