Fish Hill sculpture competition launched

THE cave, the crow, white stags and King James have all been suggested, but now the design of a sculpture for Fish Hill Square that best symbolises Royston has been thrown over to the town’s school pupils.

A competition to create a design for the proposed development was launched amongst students at Meridian School last week, with

officials from North Herts District Council (NHDC) and landscape architects BDP speaking with teachers and students about early ideas.

Students will now have a month to put forward their designs before the entries are judged in March.

Elaine Paton, Head of Art at Meridian School, said: “We have a lot of talented students here at Meridian who are very excited to be involved with this project.

“They appreciate the wonderful opportunity they have been given to create a permanent feature for our town centre.

“The chance for them to work closely with professional designers is also one which will benefit them enormously. Full marks and a gold star to NHDC for finding a way to actively involve the young people of Royston and give them a chance to have a stake in the future of Fish Hill Square.”

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A consultation held with people in Royston held last Autumn suggested several ideas of what the structure could be.

Popular ideas included a clock tower, a water feature, the crow or the cave, an embodiment of Royston’s twin towns and King James, who used Royston as a hunting lodge.

There is a budget of �20,000 for the sculpture, with district Cllr Fiona Hill, representatives of Royston town council and BDP amongst the judging panel.

Cllr Tom Brindley, of the NHDC department for planning, transport and enterprise, said: “We really want to engage the local community in helping us to come up with a design that would say something about Royston, and getting young people involved in the project is really exciting.

“We have had a lot of feedback about the enhancement of the square, and already had a number of suggestions about the sort of sculpture people would like to see such as images from Royston Cave, or reference to the area as King James’ hunting home. I’m sure that the students at Meridian School will come up with something that Royston can be proud of.”

Students will now submit their ideas by February 25, with the winning design selected by mid March. The planned date for the building of the design will be August.

Meridian student Amy Catton, 16, said: “I think it’s a really good opportunity for us to get involved with the town. We’ve all already had a few ideas for a sculpture, and I’m looking forward to meeting the designers again to see what they think of mine.”