A STUDY of public art in the Dales - such as statues and skate parks - has come up with a set of recommendations for local councils and other ‘commissioning bodies’ including getting younger people on board.

Public Art Now, commissioned by Great Place: Lakes and Dales, which aims to use arts, heritage and culture to attract and retain more young people to live and work in the area, and counts Craven District Council amongst its partners, has made ten recommendations to help the area thrive well into the future.

It suggests a series of projects designed with short, medium and long-term timescales, and claims benefits - if put into place, will include a stronger creative economy and more support for the local economy.

It also says its ideas will mean more tourists being attracted to visit, greater health and well-being of communities, improved environment, less isolation and raised aspirations.

Lindsey Hebden, Great Place: Lakes and Dales programme manager, said: “The events of 2020 mean our local public spaces and outdoor environments are more important to us than ever and ensuring they are appreciated for years to come is essential.

“This study demonstrates not only the positive impact public art can have on our well-being, but the ways in which it can benefit the economy, combat our housing problems and improve prospects for younger people – we all look forward to implementing more of the suggestions within the study.”

The study demonstrates how public art can convey the great potential of the area stretching from the Lakes to the Dales with its ‘active arts scenes, compelling culture and thriving start-ups’.

Its ten recommendations include involving young people in the planning process, making art part of redevelopment schemes and partnering with landlords to open up empty buildings. It also suggests commissioning artists to work with young people in areas connected by the A65, which connects the Dales to the Lakes.

It also recommends a professional development programme for younger artists, more community projects linking creatives to community leaders, site-specific commissions and a digital campaign designed to open up the conversation about public art to a wider audience, including young people.