New bench installed to brighten up town centre

Posted on Tuesday 1st March 2022

Colourful bench artwork with yellow circles

A stunning new contemporary bench designed by local artist, Tina Dempsey, has been installed on Edward Street.

It is the second bench Tina has designed for the town centre with the ‘Fancie Bench’ on King’s Square already becoming a popular local landmark opposite St John’s Church of England Primary School.

Tina secured the commission through an open competition for artists to submit their ideas for public art works as part of the major improvement works being carried out across the town centre.

Tina’s practice as an artist is all about exploring joy, how it makes us feel and what triggers it within us. She is interested in the impact that colour and shapes can have on people and her work explores how art can improve wellbeing and balance.

The project was a collaborative effort with the Blackpool Illuminations team who put their specialist skills into practice to fabricate the work. The fibreglass shell was cast at the Lightworks depot, with Tina and artists from the Illuminations team hand painting the designs using an overhead projector to transfer the individual features onto the body of the bench.

The newly commissioned public art aims to enhance the highways and shop front investment that has taken place to make the town centre more attractive to shoppers, residents and investors, supported by a grant from the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership under its Growth Deal.

Tina said:

“Hopefully this bench will add another unique feature to the town centre that will brighten up people’s day. Both my benches are joyous and fun. We all need a little boost sometimes and hopefully the bench will have a positive effect on people’s mood and make them smile.

“My work is for everyone to be able to access and enjoy. I hope that it becomes part of the community and that it encourages a sense of shared ownership.”

Cllr Kathryn Benson, Blackpool Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Engagement, Aspiration and Community Assets, said:

“It is fantastic to see a new piece of work from this talented local artist and I am sure that it will give everyone a little bit of joy when they walk down the street. The bench also showcases the great skills that we have in the talented team at the Illuminations depot.

“This project is all part of the council’s plan to revive the town centre and deliver a better Blackpool for everyone.

“People will have seen a big transformation in Edward Street from the new paving and benches to upgraded shop fronts and the general improvements have attracted some great new businesses to this street such as the Upside Down Café and Common Bar and Kitchen.”

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Posted on Tuesday 1st March 2022

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