By 1812Blockhouse, West Nottinghamshire College Release

A group of students recently set out to make suggestions on how to reinvigorate the city of Mansfield, particularly historic buildings in the downtown area.

That would be in Mansfield in the United Kingdom — Mansfield Ohio’s sister city.

Mansfield’s Townscape Heritage Project gave students on the Advanced BTEC Level 3 in Creative Media Practice the perfect opportunity to bring their skills to life thanks to Pete Brown, community participation co-ordinator.

Mansfield Townscape is a National Lottery Heritage funded project which aims to enhance the architecture of the historical conservation area of Mansfield – namely Leeming Street and the Market Place. It will see £1.3m of funding go towards property repairs and refurbishments to enhance buildings in this area.

The project, which focuses on Victorian and Georgian buildings in the town centre, is part of a wider vision by Mansfield District Council to improve the appearance and vibrancy of the town centre and to put Mansfield on the map as a good place in which to live, work, visit and invest.

Pete Brown set the students the task of designing their building ideas for the future, in a challenge which took the creatives six weeks to develop and present, before judges selected their winning designs. This project will be exhibited in Mansfield Museum from Friday 28 July until Tuesday 1 September.

Pete visited the winning three students at the college to present them with their certificates and voucher prizes.

First prize went to 17-year-old Maddie Thorley for her plant-themed idea. Maddie said: “I produced this in Adobe Photoshop and wanted a magazine style so it looks futuristic and clean. I feel Mansfield doesn’t have much plant life, there’s lots of brick, so I wanted to add greenery and some whites within my colour scheme.”

First Prize Winner

Second prize winner George Hopkinson, 20, brought a wealth of colour to his design featuring Mansfield’s famous viaduct. He said: “I wanted to make something creative to catch people’s eye in Mansfield. I went with a colourful aspect to make it livelier. I also liked the angle I got when I was taking the photographs.

“I used Photoshop and took inspiration from the Boars style of art. I feel that it’s simplistic, but I got quite creative with the shapes.”

Seventeen-year-old Rory Bates’ entry featured the Blooming Wonderful floristry building on Leeming Street and he came third. Rory said: “I wanted to show symbolism. I also wanted to show people who are new to Mansfield something good as well as those who are familiar with Mansfield a little something new. I made sure I added a lot of colours.”

Pete Brown said: “Our judges had a difficult challenge with over 40 entries. Councillor Stuart Richardson, heritage fund project mentor Mark Newman-Smith and local artist Clare Taylor, were amongst the judging panel and I had to use my casting vote to choose the winner!

“We wanted to get young people involved as it’s their town centre of the future and it’s important to get their ideas and inspiration. The first stage is to renovate the amazing buildings in Mansfield and the second part is where I’m involved and that’s to encourage community participation. That’s why I approached the students with this challenge.

“There’s been a fantastic partnership with the college for over three years now and we’ve worked on a lot of these projects and there’s always been a great response.”

Multimedia teacher Brian Wilson said: “We’re very proud of every student who entered the competition and as first years on a Level 3 programme they’ve have worked so well with clients to meet deadlines. It’s been a great opportunity to get involved and took around six weeks from beginning to end. It’s good to have a younger creative generation to put out a positive outlook for the community.”

Source: West Nottinghamshire College – Photos: Mansfield, Notts (Theatre) by David Hallam-Jones, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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