Express & Star – 31 March 2009

       Express & Star

College has designs on Speakers’ Corner

A special exhibition will be unveiled in Lichfield to mark the launch of the city’s Speakers’ Corner. The platform for public debate will be situated in Dam Street, near Minster Pool, from May 2.

It will be only the second Speakers’ Corner to be launched outside of London. South Staffordshire College is one of a number of organisations backing the project, and the college’s Lichfield campus will host an exhibition of various platform designs in its Wedge Gallery from April 20.

Running until May 1, it will showcase innovative designs for a temporary platform to help launch Lichfield’s Speakers’ Corner. The physical design of the corner is yet to be decided.

Students at the college have already been involved in public consultations on the proposed designs and in setting up the exhibition.

Lecturer Richard Pickup said: “This is a really interesting exhibition and we would encourage people to come along and experience the Wedge Gallery for themselves.

“Visitors will be able to view photographs of the design and find out about the collaborative work between our students working in partnership with Central St Martin’s College of Art and Design.”

It is hoped that Lichfield’s Speakers’ Corner will eventually be marked by a stone plaque.

The project has been launched by the Speakers’ Corner Trust, a fledgling charity that promotes public debate and active citizenship.

Lichfield was chosen as the newest location for a pilot scheme because of the city’s historical links to great thinkers like Erasmus Darwin and Samuel Johnson.

The initiative is being overseen by Lichfield Speakers’ Corner Founding Committee, which is made up of representatives from the city’s public, private and voluntary sectors.

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