ixia: public art think tank

ixia has taken over the ownership and management of Public Art Online from Arts Council England. The design and content of the website are currently being reviewed.

Bookmark and Share

Atmos Totnes

Date uploaded: November 24, 2014

'Encounters' are leading an interactive, creative engagement and consultation process for a pioneering new community development: Atmos Totnes. From 17th October to 6th December Atmos Totnes will open its doors for the first stage of this process at the Station Road Office Building on the former Dairy Crest site. Visitors can drop in and find out more on Fridays from 10am to 7pm and Saturdays from 11am to 4pm.

Atmos Totnes is a former 3.5 acre Dairy Crest site next to Totnes Station in Devon. It is a site of great significance for the community. A former industrial hub for the region it has been disused for 7 years. There is now a legal agreement in place to enable the community to Masterplan the use of the whole site and purchase of part of through a Community Right to build Order that the Totnes Community Development Society plan to submit in May 2015. At that point it will be the first site in the country to developed in this kind of way in the UK. The Community Right to Build Order puts community consultation at the heart of the process, therefore the activities led by Encounters will form a significant contribution to this new way of ‘doing’ development through Atmos Totnes.

For the first phase of this work, information is on display about the project in the Atmos Totnes Site Office to help clarify project plans and involve as many local people as possible in the development process. Integrated with the information sharing are Encounters creative and paticipatory Invitations to Join in that allow visitors to share their memories of the past and visions of the future. Visitors are invited in a number of creative ways, to think about the whole development and what it will mean for the town as well as exploring their own relationship to the site and its design and function. A roadshow version of these activities will also be taken to local venues and groups.

In addition to the drop in activities taking place during opening hours, there are design workshops with the Architects on Fridays 5-7pm and the community can meet some of the project team for Atmos Totnes on Saturdays 11-1pm.

Alongside the creative consultation about the future of the site, a grant from Heritage Lottery Fund has been secured to tell the story about the history of the site from its evolution as the site of Brunel’s atmospheric railway experiment, through its period as a creamery and main employer in the town, to the community drive to bring it back into use. Encounters will be creating a living archive with the community about the site from the memories stories, facts and information contributed during the engagement process.

This project will be led by Ruth Ben-Tovim with associates Ruth Cross, Megan Beck and James Engwell. Volunteers from the community are also involved in supporting individuals and groups to come in and use the space and workshop sessions and to lead outreach activities within the community. The engagement and consultation is being led on behalf of the Totnes Community Development Society, for Atmos Totnes working with LED architects and developer McCarthy and Stone.

For more information about Encounters click here.

For more information about Atmos Totnes click here.