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Leysdown Rose-tinted

Date uploaded: July 4, 2013

Leysdown Rose-tinted - a three year artist-led and community driven arts in regeneration scheme in Leysdown-On-Sea, a rural coastal village on the North Kent coast - has just been completed.  

In April 2012, a new artist-designed seafront lighting installation, a major arts regeneration project for Leysdown-on-Sea on the Isle of Sheppey, in Kent, was brought to completion. Leysdown-on-Sea is a coastal, semi-rural village in the borough of Swale (electoral ward Leysdown and Warden) and sits on the eastern tip of the island. It has an estimated population of 1500 that triples during the summer months.

Leysdown Rose-tinted was a project managed and curated by Kent-based arts practice FrancisKnight on behalf of Swale Borough Council, which aimed – through an ongoing process of community engagement and a series of artist commissions – to revitalise Leysdown-on-Sea, a neglected seaside village facing a number of social and economic challenges. According to the 2010 Index of Multiple Deprivation, it is part of a borough that has the second highest level of deprivation of all the twelve districts in Kent, and Leysdown itself is one of the neighbourhoods indexed amongst the 20% most deprived nationally. The Isle of Sheppey, generally, is in economic decline owing to limited investment and a changing tourist industry. This has brought a range of social issues including low educational attainment and disaffection among young people.

In 2009 FrancisKnight were appointed as project managers for the Leysdown Rose-tinted initiative and were given the task of devising and implementing a three-year programme of community-focused artist commissions that would help turn around the fortunes of the village and encourage local people to take a renewed pride in it.

Over the three year period, Leysdown Rose-tinted commissioned twelve pieces of permanent work from 12 artists, with work ranging from a new website to signage and seating, a rose garden and the new seaside lighting scheme. Over 1000 people were engaged in these activities and the village’s online presence was significantly increased.

Major partners were brought on board including Tate, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Arts Council England. Crucially, the programme also attracted significant pots of local funding from organisations such as the Queenborough Fisheries Trust and Swale Council for Voluntary Service.

Click here for more information on the FrancisKnight website.

Click here to read the case study written by FrancisKnight.(1,099 KB)

© Brooke Buttfield

© Brooke Buttfield