A key aspect of the transformation of Portishead Quays from 're-development' to 'public art project' is the construction of a unique urban identity. The public art at Portishead Quays has become something with which people can identify and through which the redevelopment promotes itself.
"The marketing people think it's manna from heaven - they are normally struggling to find a story about boring old houses. It's a really big theme of our marketing and it features now in a number of advertisements." Mark Hallett, Project Director, Crest Nicholson
"Public Art, by enhancing the public realm, is making a significant contribution to our strategy for producing a quality development that will stand out to buyers." Richard Briggs, MD, Persimmon Special Projects Western
Furthermore, the public art aspects offer tangible financial benefits:
"The programme has raised awareness within Crest Nicholson of the value of public art. We've had terrific publicity for which you would have had to pay tens of thousands of pounds. We've had a full page article in the Sunday Times.
In the last 12 months we've produced a document demonstrating the works that we've completed. We've now got a huge leverage - I think we've brought in one hundred and twenty thousand pounds worth of additional funding in the last twelve to sixteen months. I can see us getting match funding to maybe three times our initial budget which would just be fantastic. It could be one of the most successful public art strategies in the country." Mark Hallett, Project Director, Crest Nicholson
Certainly a business argument has emerged to promote future transactions between Public Art and Urban Design:
"When Public Art is mentioned it should be seriously considered without necessarily the threat of a planning condition or agreement. I really do think it has a contribution to the quality of the developments and to place making. I think the way we've done it seems to work at Port Marine and I think it could be a good model for the future." Paul Talbot, Design Director, Crest Nicholson
The public art programme has undoubtedly helped the development to win two prestigious awards for best brownfield development: The 'Mail on Sunday National Homebuilder Design Awards 2003' and the 'What House Best Design Award'.