Tuesday, 24 May 2016

New Home for Morecambe’s Mosaic created by Leslie Cant

Photo: Lancaster City Council
A Morecambe landmark created by the late Leslie Cant is set to be preserved in a new location as preparations get underway for improvements to the town centre.

The Morecambe Mosaic, sited outside the Arndale Centre on Euston Road, will be moved in the next few weeks and given a new prominent setting on the seafront near to the RNLI lifeboat station.

This will then pave the way for improvements to this section of the town centre, including new street surfacing, street furniture, new lighting and artworks.

The decision to relocate the mosaic - created some 40 years ago - follows a public consultation last year about its future when the improvement works take place, and concerns from locals about its future that go back even further.

Local MP David Morris voiced his concerns about the fate of the mosaic back in 2011, saying he had received many letters from constituents who expressed their fondness for the mosaic following press reports that it was to be removed.

There were 16 responses to the consultation, representing a mix of views.

Councillor Janice Hanson, Cabinet member with responsibility for regeneration, said: “To many people the mosaic represents something of the town’s identity, but keeping it in the current location would severely limit what we can do to enhance this area of the town centre.

“The results of the consultation weren’t conclusive in terms of its future location, but most of the respondents said they wanted the mosaic to be kept in some form and I absolutely agree.

“The area we’ve chosen is a good location just off the promenade, easily accessible to the public. The mosaic will be on a slope as now.

“Morecambe’s motto is ‘beauty surrounds, health abounds’ and the new location, with the Bay in the background, represents that perfectly.”

The works are part of the Morecambe Area Action Plan, an ambitious programme to regenerate central Morecambe, which includes plans to improve Euston Road from Barclays through to New Town Square, with new street surfacing, street furniture, lighting and artworks.

Leslie Cant. Picture via
Tagging the Treasures
The Morecambe Mosaic, one of a number of items of public art that formed part of the Council's last art audit back in 2012 (PDF link), is credited to artist Leslie Cant, who was born in Glasgow but moved to Preston in his twenties and worked as a set designer for the Salburg Players at Preston Hippodrome. Before he became a self-employed artist in 1983, he was office manager at the Building Design Partnership in Preston.

During his career as an artist he turned his talents to a range of disciplines including perspective drawing and building design, sculpture, mosaic and murals, as well as lecturing. He enjoyed landscape painting, some of his favourite scenes being of the Lake District. He died in June 2007, aged 87.

No comments: