YOUNG designers who played a key role in creating a modern new feature for the redevelopment of Irvine’s A-listed landmark, Trinity Church, saw the fruits of their creativity and labour come to life last week.
Irvine Bay Regeneration Company invited Irvine schools to design two, modern stained glass windows to commemorate the new life of the church. Enthusiasm for the project was significant with over 350 designs received from eight local schools.
Around 40 of the designs formed part of an art exhibition for Trinity Church open day in 2012 and in the WAVE Studio in Rivergate this year for the public to view.
The panel of judges, including a designer, an architect and a representative of Historic Scotland, chose two designs with a modern but complementary theme to represent the youth of Irvine and the new life of the church. The winning designs are by Rachel Janson from Greenwood Academy and Kirsten Murdoch from Irvine Royal Academy.
Their designs were reproduced by Susan Bradbury, Stained Glass Design Partnership in Kilmaurs into 1.5m structures. The windows have been installed at the front of the church, highly visible to passers-by through the Bridgegate area.
Irvine Bay commissioned replica windows in a smaller scale and presented them to the young designers as a memento of their involvement in the future of Irvine.
Chief executive, Patrick Wiggins, said: “They will have these unique treasures to remind them of their contribution to the regeneration of the town centre, and of the part young people play in the regeneration of the area.”
Susan Bradbury, at Stained Glass Design Partnership, said: “When I explained Trinity Church is Grade A listed and as the girls’ work is now part of the building fabric, then the windows are also now Grade A listed, and the windows would need planning permission to be removed, the girls glowed with pride. Such things make it all worthwhile.”
Rachel Janson, Greenwood Academy, said: “I am so excited and I cannot wait to let the people in my school see this. My own window is a wonderful gift from Irvine Bay. To have achieved this as a 15 year-old is amazing.”
Kirsten Murdoch, Irvine Royal Academy, said: “This Irvine Bay project was very worthwhile and is great for my CV. When starting the project it had never crossed my mind that I would be one of the winners. However, I am delighted that my design was chosen and have enjoyed the full experience. It was wonderful to see the window installed in the church and I would like to thank Irvine Bay for making the gift of a replica and everyone else involved in the project.”
Sheila Stewart, teacher at Irvine Royal: “These windows are outstanding and show very well in the church. The pupils are over the moon with their replicas. These are very special. We were delighted to be involved in yet another very worthwhile project from Irvine Bay and we look forward to many more opportunities to work in partnership and to enhance the skills and experience for our students.”
Christine McGuire, head teacher at Greenwood Academy, said: “We are delighted to have persuaded Rachel to part with her beautiful stained glass window – for a few weeks at least – and allow the school to display her prize from Irvine Bay for our school staff, pupils and visitors. Irvine Bay Regeneration Company have provided unique learning experiences for our young people. We hope that Rachel’s success will inspire others to take on new challenges.”
The designers with some colleagues and teachers from the schools visited the stained glass studio in June this year to see the windows being made and were invited to try out some of the tools of the trade.
Notes to Editors
Irvine town centre
The Irvine town centre initiative is a partnership led by North Ayrshire Council and supported by Irvine Bay Regeneration Company.
The initiative outlines a vision to regenerate the town centre and kick-start the local economy by building upon the town’s historic beauty and complementing other planned developments in and around Irvine.
Works will focus on four projects over the next five years:
Major public realm works and improvements in the Bridgegate area
The refurbishment and redevelopment of the A-listed Trinity Church as a commercial opportunity
The refurbishment of Bridgegate House
The development of an iconic new sports and leisure centre for the town centre
Other partners in the initiative include Rivergate Shopping Centre (ING), Historic Scotland Trinity Trust and SportScotland.
Irvine Bay Regeneration Company
Irvine Bay Regeneration Company seeks to develop and revitalise the five towns of Ardrossan, Saltcoats, Stevenston, Kilwinning and Irvine in North Ayrshire through a £100 million, ten-to-12 year-programme to boost the local economy and make the area an attractive and prosperous place to live, work and to visit. Our partners are North Ayrshire Council, Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government.
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