“The Austell Project is about enhancing the landscape, transforming public spaces, stimulating economic growth and promoting pride in the local community. Our vision for St Austell is to attract people to the area and to make the town centre a more enjoyable experience with things to do and see, not just retail, for we can’t just rely on retail any more. It’s about giving local people back their confidence and pride in where they live so they tell their friends to come and have a look at what’s going on here.”
James Staughton, Chair, St Austell Bay Economic Forum
Mei Loci have been working with SABEF and the Austell Project team to develop a masterplan for St Austell which seeks to enhance the town and wider area through a strategy of landscape, streetscape and public realm improvements. Connecting people and places, creating spaces for people, for recreation, physical and mental wellbeing and promoting active and innovative use and engagement with spaces. This is created through green infrastructure connections and town centre regeneration and showcasing the China Clay heritage of St Austell.
What sets the Austell Project apart is that change is facilitated, through a strategy of ‘Greening’ and sculptural intervention as a means of capitalising on the existing character and assets within and around St Austell, not through large scale-changes to infrastructure or major development. The work is inspired by the Great tradition of Cornish Gardens, with links to Heligan and Eden, the dramatic coastlines and, perhaps most importantly the heritage and landscapes left as the legacy with the China Clay industry, known locally as ‘The Cornish Alps’ and the rich culture and history associated with this region of Cornwall.
The masterplan is an evolving plan, with a goal to create a strong long term legacy, which seeks to improve the appeal of the town for both local community and visitors resulting in long term social and economic and environmental gain. It will also create strong connections between St Austell and its hinterlands.
Meiloci are working alongside, Urban Recreation, Darren Hawkes Landscapes, Alex Murdin, Kneehigh, Edible St Austell, and Felt Branding; supported by numerous local businesses and councils.