Our City p15
Council’s TV effort praised
Hanley Town Hall
A NATIONAL accolade has been won by Stoke-on-Trent City Council for their work in preparing for the switch-over to digital TV. The Homes Set for Digital certification mark is awarded to organisations that have taken all “reasonable steps” to guarantee delivery of digital TV services. The city council has devised a two-year plan in which 7,000 aerials will be replaced and advice given on converting televisions and equipment. The plans are in preparation for 2009 when Granada, which covers Tunstall and Hanley, switches over. In 2011, the old analogue system in the Central region will also be discontinued. Residents are being advised that the changes do not mean old televisions should be thrown away as most can be converted for around £25. Anyone claiming pension credits, income support or job seekers allowance are eligible for free help, including the conversion of one television. More information can be found on teletext or by logging on to www.digitaluk.co.uk
Conservation takes flight
ANLEY Town Hall is being seen in a new light – thanks to an illumination project that bathes the front of the historic 19th century building in a fabulous array of colours.
The £250,000 LED lighting system incorporates a spectrum of more than 200 colours to showcase the fine architecture of the Grade 1 Listed building in a new and exciting way. This light show at the heart of the city’s Cultural Quarter is a permanent attraction from dusk until dawn during summer and from 7pm to dawn over the winter months. Hanley Town Hall started life in 1869 as the Queen’s Hotel designed by Robert Scrivener and became a civic building in 1886. The regeneration project to illuminate the building took 12 months to complete and was funded by the Single Regeneration Budget (SRB6) through Advantage West Midlands.
SHINE A LIGHT a fisheye lens photograph of Hanley Town Hall lit up at night.
Now the city’s mature students are being invited to create their own light show by computer for Hanley Town Hall incorporating the colours of the spectrum. Those selected will be informed on which night their creation will be displayed so they can come along to see it live or they can view it by webcam – go to the city council’s website stoke.gov.uk for details of how you can take part.
Cultural Olympiad Originally the project was designed to improve the image and attractiveness of a major public building. However the switch-on also coincided with the national launch of Cultural Olympiad, the four-year national programme of events celebrating Britain’s arts and culture in the run-up to the 2012 London Paralympics and Olympic Games. The weekend event’s theme was Open Up and Light Up so it became a joint celebration enjoyed by everyone in the city centre. As well as enjoying the spectacular light
display, visitors were given a fascinating behind-the-scenes look around the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery and the impressively lit Bethesda Chapel was also opened to visitors. Nationally, a William Shakespeare festival and 12 new public works of art will form part of the Cultural Olympiad and in the West Midlands a host of activities, including dance, film making opportunities for young people and community Olympic Games, are planned in the run-up to the London Games. David Wilshaw, the city council’s Senior Engineer who led the lighting project, said: “This is an impressive addition to the night scene in the Cultural Quarter and contributes to the exciting atmosphere of the city centre.” Councillor Debra Gratton, Portfolio Holder for Sports and Leisure, said: “It was a happy coincidence that the switch-on happened at the same time as the launch of Cultural Olympiad so it was a successful double celebration for the people of Stoke-on-Trent.”
A PROJECT led by primary school pupils to save an endangered species of butterfly has taken flight. Pupils at Burnwood Primary School in Chell Heath have been harvesting and planting wild flower seeds from a former coal mine known to attract the rare Dingy Skipper butterfly. Once the seeds have grown into flowers, the children will transport them back to Chatterley Whitfield – where it is hoped they will attract the creature. The Dingy Skipper is high on the conservation priority list and the project is part of a co-ordinated effort to improve their numbers across the West Midlands. The pupils are being helped by Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s ecologist Suzanne Wykes.