Calls for a review of Jersey's public art law, as infrastructure costs rise

Public Art St Helier
Rowan Gillespie's bronze sculpture "Jersey Girl" in St Helier. Credit: ITV Channel

The Chairman of the Jersey Construction Council is calling for a review into the law that requires 1% of the cost of a development goes to public art.

Simon Matthews says money could be better spent on nearby roads and infrastructure, as bosses in the construction industry face rising costs.

"Clearly we want to see nice buildings, we want to see a nice public realm, we want to be a part of that journey and that success story.

"But I have to ask - is this really where we should be focusing our efforts at the moment - instead of trying to tackle more rudimentary issues about the rising cost of infrastructure?"

The 'Percent for Art Scheme' ensures developers of any new buildings, refurbishments or landscaping schemes allocate money towards the provision of public art.

Chris Clifford, who helped create the Pitt Street walkway, defended the practice saying: "They build our brand, national identity, our culture and they build a sense of community.

"Most importantly, they allow local artists... to tell the story of their own culture".

Pitt Street Walkway was part of the scheme. Credit: ITV Channel

Jersey's Environment Minister, Deputy Jonathan Renouf, remained sure of the scheme's worth and told ITV News: "I do not have any ambitions to row back from the "Percent for Art" scheme whilst I'm minister.

"But I do think we can look at how it's delivered... to make sure that that's working - because the last time that was updated was 15 years ago".

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