Blooming Lovely Planters!

May 15, 2019

Wednesday 15th May was a blooming lovely morning in Lancaster city centre as a range of businesses and stakeholders came out to help plant up the city centre streets.

In the glorious sunshine business owners and Managers from Bella Italia, Buccelli’s, JOSEPH+CO, Banks Lyon Shoes, Inspire Gifts & Gallery, Burton & Fisher, NatWest, Castlegate, The Sun Hotel & Bar and St. Nics Arcades came out to help plant up the innovative planting scheme on Church Street. Businesses were joined by representatives from Lancaster City Council including Director for Communities & the Environment, Mark Davies, Public Realm Manager, Will Griffiths and the Lancaster City Council horticultural staff, as well renowned Landscape Gardener David Redmore. Local station Beyond Radio were also in attendance to cover the event and take some pictures of the new bedding.

A total of eight stainless steel planters were installed in locations on Church Street, North Road and New Street. The planters are 1.2M long by 1M wide and produced by local supplier Quay Fabrications, who are based in Lancaster. The planters were designed with strength, durability and ongoing maintenance in mind. This meant that the final design ensured that the sheet metal formed a rigid structure that can withstand both the internal forces of the plant material and most external forces from knocks or vehicle impacts. Should the planters become accidentally damaged, the external panels are also replaceable, which ensures a much lower ongoing cost and greater environmental sustainability than manufacturing new. The planters are also made to be fully customisable and their location or usage could be easily be changed in the future if required.

Lancaster BID Manager Rachael Wilkinson said: “We are delighted to have introduced the first phase of the planting scheme to Church Street, North Road and New Street. There are some fantastic businesses who operate on these vital city centre streets, and it’s great to be able to showcase them through the introduction of floral assets. I’m grateful to the businesses for their enthusiasm towards the project, as well as to Will Griffith and his team for helping to make our vision a reality. We are thrilled that we are able to expand the scheme in the near future, as the heritage backdrop of Lancaster lends itself wonderfully to beautiful flora and fauna.”

The planting scheme was designed to encompass a range of plant material that would survive year round. Plants which were planted as part of the scheme include Geranium Rosanna, Salvia Maincht (Cat Mint) and Slavia Patens (Gentian Sage). These plants require minimal maintenance and will be durable to most city centre conditions. This planting will be enhanced with additional annual planting until the perennials mature.

Public Realm Manager, Will Griffith said: “We were delighted to work with Lancaster BID when they approached us about the scheme a number of months ago. It’s only through strong partnership working that we are able to make such innovative and significant changes to the District. We are looking forward to continuing to work with Lancaster BID and the business community, as we roll out the scheme across the city.”

The next instalment as part of the planting scheme is introducing bespoke Lancaster bunting above the streets, to showcase entry points into Lancaster. The floral displays, alongside the bunting will draw peoples’ eye lines right the way across and along city centre streets, allowing them to re-discover the businesses operating there. This new bunting will be installed at the top of Church Street and on a section of North Road as part of the first phase of planting. The bunting will be completely bespoke and unique to Lancaster, using the brand colour palette as well as branded motifs on four of the eight designs. The bunting has been produced by a renowned manufacturer, who created bunting for the Commonwealth Games, meaning that it is completely silent for businesses and residents in the area, but also strong and fade resistant, ensuring its longevity.

This is just the first phase Lancaster BID’s innovative planting, with three further phases of planting and bunting anticipated for 2019.