The Fairytale of Burscough Bridge
Artist: Smiling Wolf
Client: West Lancashire District Council
Designer(s): BCA Landscape, Liverpool
Contractors: Lancashire County Council
Manufacturer: IP Surfaces Ltd
Supplier: Hardscape Products Ltd
The artists were commissioned by West Lancashire District Council to make ‘environmental improvements’ to the streets of Burscough Bridge, West Lancashire. A complete renewal of the public realm through its busy village, which sits astride the A59 between the Leeds to Liverpool canal and Southport to Wigan railway, was undertaken.
The brief was to bring back a sense of place to a town which had a culturally rich, as well as economically important, past. Speaking to and researching with the community, the artists explored the folklore of the village, uncovered its many stories, traditions, and shared cultural history. These themes were then incorporated into the scheme, from the 1930s pace egging (a street dance) and the WWII American airfield to the remnants of medieval Burscough Abbey and Martin Mere nature reserve.
A collective notion of identity is a notoriously complex idea to pin down. Ultimately it is the little things that have meaning and these woven together form a greater picture. The scheme involved the creation of a series of new small interlinked squares and pedestrian routes animated with bespoke furniture, paving, lighting and signage. All the bespoke artwork was manufactured at IP Surfaces.
The Fairytale of Burscough Bridge celebrates modern creative life beyond the city; presenting the successful realisation of a contemporary design project within a rural context. It is a bold and adventurous scheme that enriches the sense of identity in the Lancashire village.