BCA/Studio Three wins Wyre waterfront contract

Michael Hunt

Wyre Council has appointed the architects to design the £1.6m Sea Change project on the Fylde Coast.

Liverpool-based BCA Landscape/Studio Three Architects has been chosen to project manage the scheme following a final round of interviews and presentations last Thursday.

The council said the team has pledged to start with a blank canvas and one of the factors in their appointment was its "firm grasp of the importance of integrating a number of diverse habitats into the project as well as a determination that the ideas should come first and foremost from the local community".

Wyre Council narrowed its search to a shortlist of two consortia which included LDA Design/Softroom Architecture competing for the contract.

Both finalists were asked to make detailed presentations on Thursday 13 May before a question and answer session in front of community groups. They then faced a technical interview in the afternoon by the project's delivery team.

In the previous round of the competition, five groups took part in a day-long session of presentations and interviews on 28 April.

The council added that the new team will continue with a number of frequent community workshops being planned.

Cllr Barry Birch, economy portfolio holder for Wyre Council, said: "Although each team was asked to outline some concepts for the purposes of the interviews, we are delighted that BCA Landscapes will be coming to Wyre with no preconceived ideas.

"Throughout the process they have shown a determination to engage with the people of Cleveleys and Fleetwood, which will give residents a real sense of ownership.

"Once they get a feel for what people want, we are confident BCA's expertise will result in a visually exciting and interactive waterfront that can be used as a catalyst for attracting even more investment into the area."

Garry Payne, director of planning and regeneration, added: "We are ultimately looking for a scheme that enhances the existing natural environment of Wyre's coastline rather than works against it. In their presentations, BCA Landscapes stated such diverse habitats will actually better the final designs and we look forward to working with them.

"Can we also take this opportunity to thank all the teams that took the time to enter a bid for the project, especially LDA Designs who came a very close second. The quality of entries and the sheer number of them has underlined our confidence in Wyre's potential for development."

The project will redevelop the Marine Hall & Gardens and create a new coastal trail between Cleveleys and Fleetwood. Funding has come from the Government's Sea Change programme, the council and the Lofthouse family, makers of the Fisherman's Friend lozenges, manufactured in Fleetwood.

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