Saturday, 20 March 2010

The Waterfront, Bournemouth

On 20th January 2010, Bournemouth Council announced that it is buying the Waterfront building on Bournemouth’s seafront – once voted England’s most hated building in a Channel 4 poll. Hurrah! This monstrosity has been ruining the view of Bournemouth's seafront for as long as I've known it. It will be so good to have a view of the beautiful coastline and seafront.


Bournemouth Council are considering a number of options as a replacement. Their main aims are:

1.To improve sea views; and
2.To bring about an all-weather attraction that is commercially viable, successful and can be enjoyed by people from all walks of life, in a building that residents can be proud of

And they're putting six options to the vote:

1.A water park
2.An interactive arts activity centre and museum
3.Tropical gardens
4.A spa
5.Performing arts space and amphitheatre
6.A family play park
7.Boutiques and bistros

Whilst I really like the idea of the arts activity centre and museum it's difficult to tell how it would work and exactly what the activities would involve. I also quite like the sound of tropical gardens - but I think any solution needs to combine a number of things - cafe, gardens, fountain & arts and crafts!

Here are my thoughts (and comments to the council) -

It would be good to have space for a local art & craft gallery or shops. There is a real lack of art & craft venues in Bournemouth so this would fill a much needed gap in the market. Craft supplies shops and boutiques would add to the creative feel e.g a bead shop, art supplies shop, model shop, knitting/embroidery supplies.

If this could be combined with an area for art and craft workshops that would be a real benefit to all ages of the community. Art and crafts are a great way to unite people and get the community talking and sharing experiences at the same time as learning new skills. It's also a great way to get people involved with the environment, Bournemouth's history, different cultures. The possibilites are endless and it's a great opportunity to improve the culture and social environment of Bournemouth.

Having the workshops so close to the inspiring sea front area would make them really attractive - painting the sea, making paper mache fish, beach hut models, sea inspired jewellery - we could really make the most of the beautiful coast and seaside attractions.

Possible workshops include:
Drawing
Watercolours
Knitting
Silver Clay jewellery
Beading
Puppet making
Electronics/robotics
Nature studies

Arts University College Bournemouth run a range of courses that could be adapted to one day or half day workshops.
Bournemouth Creatives are another source of creative people who could run workshops.

Why not have your say?
For more detail on the options and to vote see the council's website here


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