Over 300 West Kirby school pupils have taken part in a competition to create a vision for the future of their hometown.
The competition, which was launched by community group One West Kirby, asked 14–18-year-olds, attending West Kirby schools, to create a future West Kirby through art, design technology, photography and creative writing.
The shortlisted work was judged by a panel of experts, including award-winning photographers, architects, artists and an internationally renowned scriptwriter, alongside local councillors.
Competition organiser, Iona Horsburgh, from One West Kirby, said: “We are anticipating that Wirral Borough Council will shortly commission a Masterplan for West Kirby and the views of young people are often forgotten in these consultation processes.
“We wanted to make sure that our local pupils were given a platform to present their ideas to experts and to show off their incredible creativity”.
A clear theme that came through in the submissions was an awareness by the pupils about the environmental impact of their design ideas and a desire to ensure future developments expanded on the concept of green technologies and sustainability. The pupils also fed back that they felt that West Kirby lacked colour and many of their ideas showed buildings in a new light.
Award-winning architect and competition judge, Adam Hall, said: “Along with the other judges, I was incredibly impressed with the range and creativity of architectural design ideas that were presented to us.
“The winning ideas provided an exciting insight into the minds of the local young people of West Kirby and how they see a future vision for the town as an attractive, sustainable, green place to live, work and play.”
Stephen Gray, headteacher of Calday Grange Grammar School, said: “It made me immensely proud to see such amazing ideas put forward by our students.
“There is no doubt that this was an enriching experience for those involved and I thank the team from One West Kirby for coming into school and spending such valuable time with our students. It is a pleasure to be part of such a project.”
Cllr Simon Mountney said: “I was delighted to see the depth of thought that had gone into the designs and concepts the students submitted. We should never underestimate the depth of feeling and insight the younger generations have about our environment and architecture.”
Simeon Clarke, headteacher of West Kirby Grammar School, said: “We are thrilled that two of our students have been announced as joint winners and we congratulate them on their success. This achievement underlines our belief that these students have the potential to become great artists or designers in the future.”
Internationally renowned author and script writer, Murray Watts, who judged the creative writing category, said: “We need hope and vision more than anything, as we enter this New Year and encouraging young people to take part in such dynamic and creative forward-thinking is truly inspiring. I have been so impressed with the quality of the writing, the power of language and original thinking from these school children. It is a privilege to be involved.”
In total 10 winners and two commendations were chosen from entrants from West Kirby Grammar and Calday Grange Grammar Schools, who will receive masterclasses from the expert judges.