Our approach to public art

Public art projectsPhotos: ‘Tree of Knowledge’ by Jyll Bradley (2017, CB1); ‘Continental Drift’ by Troika (2016, CB1)

We are committed to continued support for arts and culture, which includes public art.

A review by Arts Council England concluded that the arts and culture boost the economy. They do this by attracting visitors, creating jobs and developing skills, attracting and retaining business, revitalising places, and developing towns. It also noted the positive impact on health and wellbeing, and contribution to social capital and community cohesion.

Public art can inform the quality of built and landscape developments, and contribute to places of distinction and character. We recognise this in our planning policies relating to creating successful, high quality, attractive environments.

Our approach to public art is based on our Public Art Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). Its strategic objectives emphasise:

  • high quality public art in Cambridge which inspires people
  • the role of artists in the design process
  • engaging local people in the development of public art
  • reinforcing local distinctiveness and cultural identity

Since the adoption of the SPD in 2010, new regulations governing S106 developer contributions have come. As a result, we no longer seek new S106 contributions for off-site public art projects.

Instead, the provision and maintenance of on-site public art for new developments can be secured via planning conditions.

For more details, see changes to S106 funding.

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