Plans for a White Palm on Cleethorpes seafront

Plans for White Palm Sculpture at Cleethorpes

Plans to erect a 72ft White Palm tree sculpture along the north promenade of Cleethorpes’ seafront will go before councillors next week.

If approved, the £600,000 project is set to be completed by this spring.

CoastNEL, secured a £3.8m grant from Coastal Communities Funding which intended for the regeneration of the town’s arts and culture programme. Developments began in 2019.

The sculpture, designed by German sculptor Wolfgang Weileder, will be set above black paving which will be made from recycled material collected from Cleethorpes’ beach.

Original plans were for the white palm to be located at the end of the North Promenade of the Cleethorpes Seafront, next to the area of the Humber that covers a petrified forest, however it became clear that this is used as a habitat for migrating birds. It is intended to serve as a homage to the past landscape, and as a warning that if climate warming continues palm trees may become a common sight on Cleethorpes’ coastline.

When plans were first announced in 2019, Councillor Matthew Patrick of North East Lincolnshire Council warned that although the funds being brought into the area are “essential,” when it comes to public installations “engagement with the public in genuine consultation is a must” as “steamrollering through decisions that will have such a long-lasting presence leaves a bad taste in the mouth.”

Weileder has stated how important he feels it is for the public to identify with the work. But reactions to the sculpture have varied with some referring to it as “a beautiful idea,” and most feeling that the funds would be better spent on “the outdated seafront, bringing back the rides or a theme park.”

One local resident said that it as has “no affinity to Cleethorpes. It needs to resonate with the locals. What has a palm tree got to do with the UK let alone Cleethorpes. I do think something should be built but please make it mean something to the area.”

Another suggested that something similar to previous sculptures by local artists and which reference the towns heritage, such as the Fisherman’s Memorial in St James’ Square, would perhaps have more of an impact.

It is thought that artists local to Cleethorpes would be consulted on plans for the white palm.

Other regeneration plans include shutter art on seafront businesses, planting new trees and creating communal spaces.

Contact Gi Grimsby
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