A company that has brought 'Spanish Steps', a giant interactive boombox, an LED light Maze and a 'Slideatron' to cities across the UK has been handed a £28,000 contract to inject life into Fort Regent ahead of a bigger redevelopment.
ProduceUK Ltd has been tasked with bringing “animation and enlivenment” to the former local hotspot in the near future, while In Partnership With Ltd has been awarded a contract of £215,000 to advise on plans for the long-term, involving up to £26m investment from Government.
The pair were selected following a tender process launched last May.
At the time, the two contracts available were described as being for an events management company, “which will attract islanders to the Fort in the medium-term”, and another seeking private consultancy from a business “able to provide practical commercial advice on the long-term options for the Fort’s use.”
Video: The 'Slideatron' created at Wembley Park by Produce UK.
Deputy Hugh Raymond, who chairs the Fort’s Political Steering Group to whom both companies will be reporting, explained: “The Political Steering Group are developing a long-term vision for the Fort and – while we are formulating that vision – we want to ensure that islanders continue to use the Fort. Whoever wins the first contract will be expected to create innovative experiences which attract islanders and ensure that the Fort becomes an increasingly vibrant and well-used space.
“The second company will help us to achieve the long-term vision that we set and so, while it will be a less public-facing role, it will be very important.”
A Government of Jersey spokesperson confirmed to Express that work on the future of the venue continued during the covid-19 outbreak.
Pictured: Deputy Hugh Raymond chairs the Fort’s Political Steering Group.
Four bidders applied for the £28,000 contract to create events and experiences to attract islanders to the Fort in the medium term, which ultimately went to ProduceUK Ltd.
The company was founded by Catherine Borowski, who specialises in 'placemaking' - a concept described as “a multi-faceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces."
ProduceUK has already developed a draft placemaking strategy and offered advice to the Fort Regent Political Steering Committee on “the broad areas of: ‘opening up the Fort’, ‘working with the community’, ‘creating animation and enlivenment’, sustainability and ‘environmental consciousness’."
The company has previously worked with Adidas, Hyundai Motor UK as well as the London Festival of Architecture and the Cartoon Network.
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Pictured: One of ProduceUK's 'placemaking' projects, the Spanish Steps of Wembley.
Among their previous projects are a 3,000 pumpkin installation at King’s Cross, a club golf course in a shopping centre at Coal Drops Yard, the transformation of the Spanish Steps at Wembley Park and a LED light maze at Westfield Square.
Meanwhile, five companies made a bid for the £215,000 contract to provide commercial advice on long-term options for the Fort, which went to In Partnership With Ltd.
The company has already helped Infrastructure, Housing and Environment Department in developing a business case for the Fort and are providing ongoing advice.
Having been dubbed “a ticking time bomb” in a damning independent report, as well as being plagued with serious health and safety concerns over asbestos, the question of how to ‘save’ Fort Regent has lingered for many years.
The venue’s issues led to the emergency cancellation of all the Fort’s events last year.
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Pictured: The Club Golf Course at Coal Drops Yard created by ProduceUK.
Fort Regent is listed in the Government Plan as a 'Major Project', with a budget of £4.8m being planned for 2021. This includes £1.8m for additional pre-feasibility work and £3m for the early phases of work.
The annex to the Government Plan states there are “key ‘quick win’ projects” that can be taken forward and can provide both “short-term fiscal stimulus and new placemaking/interim uses for the Fort whist the enabling work for long-term leisure mix of uses is being progressed."
The 2021 budget only represents the first phase of the work and the additional funding that will be required to complete the project is said to total £26m.
Express has approached the government for comment, but hasn't so far received a response.
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