“Inspired by the local people and community groups that I met. I talked to several groups interested in gardening, green spaces, and well-being. The idea was formed to create a space from planters and seats, where people could enjoy a book from the library or a coffee from the bristol high street. We were then able to collaborate with Bold Brave Dramas audio tour, which they had been making with the community, as an extra layer to help celebrate and explore the community relationship with the library, with Stockwood Open Space, and with the High Street. – Paul Channing

Bristol High Street

bristol high street

Bristol, a city celebrated for its vibrant culture and community spirit, is taking a significant step towards rejuvenating its high street through the City Centre and High Streets Recovery and Renewal programme.

Through the programme, Bristol City Council has appointed Public Art Producers, Paul Channing and Diana Hatton, to oversee the creation of public artwork across five high streets in Bristol, with a further four streets organising their own projects.

Their approach has been focused on collaborating with artists to infuse new life into urban spaces. Bristol is renowned for its street art, with local artists adorning walls with vivid murals. The Paul Project ‘Love our High Streets’ project has worked with both established artists for large-scale murals and emerging talents for smaller commissions. The artists are currently adding the finishing touches to their creations before being unveiled.

At the heart of the Bristol Pocket Park project lies an innovative approach to an often-overlooked space in Stockwood. The project, aptly named; Stockwood Pocket Park;

aims to transform this neglected area into a vibrant showcase for the future of public spaces and rejuvenate the use of the local library as a community hub.

The desire for more green spaces was a recurring theme in previous public consultations. During initial community outreach efforts, several groups with interests in gardening, green spaces, and well-being emerged. The idea took shape to create a space adorned with planters and seating, allowing people to enjoy a book from the library or savour a coffee from the nearby Bristol high street. The project also aims to integrate artist-designed decorations into the space, fostering a unique and meaningful connection between the community, the library, Stockwood Open Space, and the high street. Paul Channing has played a pivotal role in designing the space. He was responsible for selecting suitable furniture, organising the creation of text panels, and coordinating the planting and installation. A modular system was chosen to facilitate collaborative design discussions with community groups. A workshop held on-site, complete with a model, allowed for an in-depth exploration of the placement of planters and seating, ensuring that the space would be both functional, accessible and aesthetically appealing.

Additionally, art panels featuring quotes from this project Brave Bold Drama’s community sound walk project, have been attached to the planters. This not only enhancing the visual appeal of the space and but also strengthen sing the bond between the community and its surroundings. This project is a vital part of the Council Love our High Streets; initiative, further illustrating the project focus on community engagement.

Extraordinary Streets: is a community sound walk created by Brave Bold Drama with the Stockwood community. The sound walk guides participants on various short strolls around Stockwood, sharing stories and memories of the area residents. The sounds of everyday life in Stockwood are interwoven with these stories, offering a captivating journey that includes tales of spaceships, snail races, heart-stopping rugby matches, and much more.

This project is being delivered as one of the activities under the City Centre and High Streets Recovery and Renewal Programme funded by Bristol City Council and the West of England Combined Authority’s Love our High Streets Project.

This collaboration underscores the commitment to revitalising and renewing Bristol’s High Streets, fostering community engagement and cultural vibrancy. In a city that thrives on its community’s spirit, the Bristol Pocket Park Love our High Streets project, and particularly Stockwood Pocket Park, serve as a beacon of hope and progress. It’s a testament to the dedication of artists, community members, and visionary leaders. This pocket park represents the collective effort to rejuvenate a vital part of Bristol and urban landscape, and the future looks brighter than ever.

Furniture by British Recycled Plastic

Planting by Blaise Plant Nursery

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