Councillors back proposals for Covid memorial project

West Lothian council chiefs have backed plans for a memorial project dedicated to those who lost their lives to Covid.

Councillors back proposals for Covid memorial project Google Maps

A memorial project dedicated to those who lost their lives to Covid and everyone affected by the pandemic is to be created in West Lothian.

The council’s executive backed proposals on Tuesday presented by the council’s culture and sport manager, Alan Colquhoun, to join the national ‘Remembering Together’ – Covid Community Memorial programme.

The two phase scheme will cost £120,000 – £20,000 to create a plan, and £100,000 for implementation.

Mr Colquhoun confirmed that phase one would involve developing the brief for the project.

It would commission one or more artistic and creative practitioners to co-create with partners and communities to shape ideas, which appropriately reflect local people’s experiences of the pandemic.

The timescale for commissioning artists is March 31 and the budget split for this phase, advised by greenspacescotland, is to use £15,000 for the commission and £5,000 for delivery and access costs.

Phase two is the delivery phase, where a final project output would be created through collaboration with identified partners, communities and groups, and associated engagement work.

A budget of £100,000 is available for this phase, with an indicative timescale for completion by June next year.

In a report to the committee, Mr Colquhoun said: “This programme is funded by the Scottish Government and is coordinated and supported by greenspacescotland.

“It is focused on commissioning artists to work collaboratively with a range of partners, communities, groups and those most affected by Covid, to create an appropriate memorial-type project in each local authority area. 

“Through developing and delivering projects Remembering Together seeks to create ways to commemorate those who have lost their lives, recognise those who have experienced loss and change, and celebrate the ways in which communities have come together, during the pandemic. 

“Such projects are intended to bring people together to share and process what Covid has meant, and continues to mean, for individuals, families and communities.

“It is proposed to take this project forward in a similar way to which public art projects are developed and delivered in West Lothian.

“Indeed, the council has well established processes for, and strong experience of, employing artists and creative practitioners to work with partners, local residents, community groups and school pupils. 

“This is done through extensive and varied community engagement work in order to explore various themes that can be expressed through public art.”

The executive gave its agreement on proposals, and an updated report will be brought back to councillors prior to the commissioning for the delivery phase.

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