Dover’s Fort Burgoyne part of shortlisted partners for RTPI Award

10th May 2022

The Land Trust’s Dover-based Fort Burgoyne has been shortlisted, alongside three other cultural partners in the South East, for Best Project in this year’s Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Award for Planning Excellence.

The RTPI Awards celebrate outstanding plans, projects and people that demonstrate the power of planning in helping to transform economies, environments and communities.

Pioneering Places East Kent was a cultural placemaking project led by Creative Folkestone jointly funded by Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, with an educational programme supported by Artswork. Over the last three years the project focused on four heritage sites which had been abandoned and fallen into disuse with the aim of developing them back to life. The vision at the Land Trust was to engage with communities in both the maintenance and regeneration of Fort Burgoyne to maximise social value. The project demonstrated the Trust’s ability to diversify and work in partnership with a wide range of partners, outside its specialism of the natural environment.

Two main engagement programmes were explored, the first was the development of a series of public ‘explorer’ walks from Dover town centre to the Fort’s West Wing Battery managed by Dover Arts Development and Charles Holland Architects. Ideas were submitted on how best to utilise the site for community engagement for the benefit of both existing local residents and those about to move to a housing estate currently under construction. The outcome was the production of a ‘Big Drawing’ highlighting the activity potential of the space.

Albion Inc, a multi-disciplined organisation seeking to support Dover regeneration, was appointed to work with the Land Trust, educational institutes – East Kent College and UCA Central St Martins, as well as local businesses to develop a cultural activity to kick-start the regeneration of Fort Burgoyne.  The team ended the year by delivering ‘Waking the Giant’ on 29 February 2020, a free event attended by 1,800 people which showcased potential uses of the Fort including art and craft sales, workshops, a café and the Museum of British Folklore.

Land Trust Chief Executive, Euan Hall said: “The Land Trust has almost 20 years’ experience in managing and maintaining public green-spaces, with a commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of our surrounding communities. Fort Burgoyne offered a diverse opportunity to work with partners from arts and culture to develop a robust regeneration plan for a site of national importance, whilst developing a site that will have equal importance to the lives of residents.

“It’s a testament to the time and collaboration invested by those involved at the Trust and project partners that has led to this fantastic nomination.”

Chris Valdus, Fort Burgoyne Heritage Project Manager said: “It’s been a huge privilege to work on the project so far and I’m looking forward to seeing how it evolves. The Pioneering Places East Kent project enabled us to engage communities in innovative ways to inform how the site could develop and support wider regeneration in Dover”.

Images by Matt Rowe

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