LI competition seeks top talents

The hunt is on to find the best landscape architects and public-realm designers from across the world in a contest to create awe-inspiring spaces in towns in the North West.

An international landscape design competition, called Pennine Lancashire Squared, is to launch on 15 August in a bid to find the talent to revamp spaces in Burnley, Accrington, Blackburn, Bacup, Clitheroe and Nelson.

The Landscape Institute (LI) is running the contest, which is being co-ordinated by regeneration agency Elevate. Inspiration for the competition comes from the proposals of Yvette Livesey and the late Anthony H Wilson in their 2004 report Dreaming of Pennine Lancashire, which suggested ideas for improving the image of the area and its former mill towns.

Although broadcaster and music mogul Wilson died of a heart attack last August after being diagnosed with cancer earlier in the year, the legacy of his passion for the North West will continue in the competition.

The contest has received funding from the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NRDA). Support is also given by CABE Space and the Royal Institute of British Architects.

It is being run on behalf of Pennine Lancashire Leaders & Chief Executives (PLLACE), a body that includes the heads of the local authorities for Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Ribble Valley, Rossendale and Lancashire County.

The launch of Pennine Lancashire Squared, which is being run in two stages and will see up to 30 design teams shortlisted and paid an honorarium to develop their proposals, takes place in Nelson.

Award-winning Manchester architect Stephen Hodder MBE, Elevate chief executive Max Steinberg and NRDA chief executive Steve Broomhead will speak at the event.

Judging for stage one will take place in September.

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