Approach to public art

Mitcham's Models public art projectHiston Road public art project

Photos: These public art projects received developer contributions (S106 funding) in previous years

Last updated: 23 October 2017

Although the arrangements are still to be finalised, we anticipate that the next round of applications for public art S106 grants (based on off-site contributions agreed before April 2015) may be invited in early 2018. If you would like to be notified when the bidding round begins, email In the meantime, we are currently not accepting applications. 

Over £160,000 of S106 public art contributions have been allocated to nine small-scale public art grants in the 2016/17 funding round.

This follows a grant application process in late 2016. The 22 proposals received have been assessed against selection criteria based on the council's Public Art Strategy. The funding recommendations were agreed by the Executive Councillor for Streets and Open Spaces on 16 March 2017.

The following public art projects have been allocated S106 funding (based on off-site contributions agreed before April 2015), subject to conditions: 

  • £15,000 grant to Cambridge Junction for 'Radio Local'
  • £15,000 grant to Kettle's Yard for performance art relating to the temporary installation of an Antony Gormley sculpture
  • Up to £16,500 as a grant to Cambridge Live for 'Colours in the Community'
  • Up to £25,000 as a grant to the University of Cambridge Primary School for the 'Eddington Flag Parade' in 2018
  • Between £15,000 to £30,000 as a grant to the Pink Festival Group for the 'Showcase of Queer Arts' 
  • Up to £19,000 as a grant to the Menagerie Theatre Company for 'Trumpington Voices'
  • Up to £13,000 as a grant to Oblique Arts for the Mitcham's Moving Lighting Project' (in a number of locations in West Chesterton)
  • £15,000 grant to Historyworks for 'Rhythm, Rhyme and Railways'
  • £15,000 grant to Historyworks for 'History Walking Trails 2' (involving primary schools in North, South and West/Central areas).

In addition, the Executive Councillor has agreed to increase the budget for the 'Railway workers commemorative public art project' on the corner of Mill Road and Cavendish Road to £60,000 (from £30,000). This will be funded from S106 public art contributions from Romsey ward.  

For more details of the S106 committee report (16/3/2017) and the pack of public art grant applications, see S106 priority-setting.

Public art objectives

The council's approach to public art is based on the Public Art Supplementary Planning Document, which was adopted in January 2010. 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 and
  • reinforcing local distinctiveness and cultural identity.

Public art now secured via planning conditions

Whilst the focus on the strategic objectives remains, there have been some important changes since the adoption of the SPD.

New regulations governing S106 developer contributions came into effect in April 2015. As a result, the council does not now 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 also Changes to S106 funding.

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