Backlash to Crewe Royal Arcade heritage wall designs postpones vote

The designs were not met with enthusiasm by people in the town

A public vote to decide what the heritage wall at Crewe’s Royal Arcade will look like has been postponed following a backlash to the proposed designs. Cheshire East Council recently unveiled the two design choices for the display that will feature on a wall of the multi-storey car park at the site once its completed by the end of 2023.

The first design option – ‘Forged by Hand’ – reflected Crewe’s past while ‘looking ahead to what regeneration can bring in the future’. It featured the town’s name, alongside historical images of people working in the industries that helped to shape Crewe, with patterns relating to its heritage combined with cogs and locomotive wheels.

The second design option – ‘Crewe are people powered’ – shares images of people at work in the town’s well-known industries, as well as at play in Crewe’s carnival. A background image featuring detail taken from a map of Crewe Works was woven in to complete the effect.

A public vote to decide between the two was due to begin on Friday (July 22). But the designs have been met with strong criticism since they were released.

And the council has now confirmed that the public vote will be ‘put on hold’ after ‘listening to initial feedback’. Further discussions will be held with stakeholders to review the proposals.

Cllr Nick Mannion, chair of Cheshire East Council’s economy and growth committee, said: “The intention is that there will be a public vote as soon as possible. However, we will take further time to engage with local stakeholders. We will also be undertaking further stakeholder engagement in the meantime in terms of the design.

“It is important that the people of Crewe are happy with what the final artwork will be, as it will be such a prominent and central feature. So, we have listened to what people have said and we will now take all those comments on board, move forward with the artist and review the available options.”

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