Artist Brief Wolverton Town Trail Project

Artist’s Brief – Wolverton Walk

Public Art and heritage trail for Wolverton


1.         Project Summary

Wolverton Society for Arts and Heritage are leading a public art project to celebrate and interpret the heritage of Wolverton for wider audiences. As such they are wishing to appoint an artist to collaborate with Living Archive (heritage organisation) to creatively engage the community and help interpret the story of place through the Wolverton Walk (town trail).



2.         Project Background


Public Art in Milton Keynes

Milton Keynes is committed to engaging artists in the design process and has a long reputation for commissioning public art.  In Milton Keynes we consider Public Art as any work of visual art, craft or design produced by an artist, designer or maker and sited in a location that is freely accessible to the public. Most importantly the Art and Public Art Strategy for Milton Keynes (2014-23) states that public art commissions should be:

  • Artist specific
  • Place specific
  • People specific


Living Archive

Living Archive and collects, preserves and shares the history and heritage of Milton Keynes.

Conceived as an antidote to the assertion that ‘new towns have no history’, and nurtured by the belief that ‘everybody has a story to tell’, it has recorded, archived and celebrated the unique history of residents’ lives and sense of place since 1984, this work continues as Milton Keynes continues to grow and attract new residents.


The London & Birmingham Railway Company founded Wolverton in 1838 as a stopping point midway between the two cities which could be used for locomotive fuelling, repair and passenger comfort.


As a result Wolverton also became the first purpose built Railway town on a green-field site, where everything had to be built from scratch. It was the “Milton Keynes” of the time where workers moved there from other areas. Their new homes and employment were provided by The Railway Company. The Company provided education and leisure facilities and laid out the Town on a classic grid system.

The early locomotive repair depot also continued to expand until Wolverton Works filled a large area. It became The Southern Headquarters of the LNWR Railway and the famous Victorian engineer McConnell designed “The Bloomer” locomotive there.


3.         Project Objectives:

  • For an artist to collaborate with Living Archive to help creatively interpret the materials as part of the Wolverton Walk.
  • For an artist to engage with, and be informed  by the heritage and community of Wolverton to help expand interpretation materials, particularly the ‘Wolverton Walk’
  • To explore new ways of creatively engaging people with Wolverton’s heritage.
  • For the interpretation project to celebrate the heritage of Wolverton for residents and visitors now and in the future



  1. A template for interpretation panels around the town
  2. A template for plaques/signs noting particular locations



4.        Process

Living Archive will lead on the delivery of the Wolverton Walk including the research through their archive and the development of the updated and digital Wolverton Walk.

The artist in collaboration with Living Archive will be required to undertake the following activity:


1. Research and development

  • Develop creative engagement tools for interactions with the community, particularly local school children and young people, to better understand the heritage of the area, bringing in contemporary stories
  • Share ideas and particularly key themes and initial ideas to the steering group and respond to feedback


2. Design development

  • Liaise with Living Archive to agree the areas where the artistic outputs will be realised, such as the design of location plaques, and illustrations for the Wolverton Walk leaflet.


3. Delivery

  • To provide workshops with local young people and school children to engage them in the project.


4. Completion

  • Provide information as appropriate for the long term updating and maintenance of materials
  • To document and evaluate the process
  • To be involved in promotional activities and launch of the new Wolverton Walk


4.         Management

The public art is being commissioned and managed by the Wolverton Society for Arts and Heritage with the advice and guidance of Milton Keynes Council’s Arts Team.


Wolverton Town Council will take responsibility for the updating and maintaining the Wolverton Walk and related materials upon advice from the artist and Living Archive


5.         Project steering group


The role of the steering group is to champion, through partnership, the delivery of this public art project.


The members of the steering group are:


  • Mel Jeavons – Living Archive
  • Hilary Saunders – Wolverton Arts and Heritage Society
  • Louise Izod – Public Art Officer
  • Diane Bowyer – Wolverton Town Council


6.         Budget & Fees


A budget of £250 per day is available to cover artist time and engagement activities with the community. We would expect this work to take between 10 and 15 days. A small budget for materials for activities can be made available.


Artist’s fees are fully inclusive of travel, subsistence, accommodation and other costs relating to the artists expenses.


The Town Council will manage the project budget. Separate budgets have been identified for the production of the digital Wolverton Walk, interpretation boards and location plaques.


  1. 8.            Timescale

The artist will need to demonstrate flexibility in relation to this contract as timescales may change in response to the community and project development.


Action Approx dates
Artist appointment, start of works July 2016
Liaison and meeting with Living Archive July/August 2016
Engagement activities August & September 2016
Proposals for creative elements (in consultation with Living Archive) October 2016
Production/fabrication November – December 2016
Installation/launch of initiatives January 2017
Completion, evaluation and handover January 2017



  1. Further information


Wolverton Society for Arts and Heritage –

Wolverton Unlimited –

Wolverton Walk – leaflet



10. How to make a submission:


Interested and experienced artists are invited to return tenders to by …Friday 8th July


Shortlisted artists will be invited to interview, which will take place on Monday 18th July


This brief is being circulated openly by the Steering Group who will develop a shortlist by assessing submissions against the evaluation criteria outlined below:



Please submit the following: How this will be used for assessment
  • CV which specifically includes examples of heritage projects and collaborations
  • 4-6 examples of work (Jpegs or powerpoint slides)
  • Letter of interest stating your approach to engagement, availability, what specialist ‘service’ you will provide and how you will address the project objectives (section 3)
  • An outline schedule with numbers of days of delivery (section 6 of brief)
  • Contact details of 2 referees, these should be from recent commissioners or professionals with whom you have collaborated
  • Interest in the living heritage of  Milton Keynes.
  • Track record of successful collaborative working and heritage inspired outputs
  • Quality of work/commissions
  • Service’s provided and how objectives will be addressed
  • Value for money
  • Ability to be flexible on time and location of work
  • Excellent references



For further information please contact:



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