New Walk Centre - Paul Conneally 2014
The Leicester City Council Headquarters, New Walk Centre, has now been fully emptied of staff and preparations are underway to demolish the two buildings that make it up.
I propose that planning permission be given to turn the site, which sits at the bottom of Leicester's wonderful New Walk pedestrian route, into a City Centre Community Orchard.
It would be the first of its size and kind in the country.
The fruit would be of the people for the people of this multicultural beacon of a City.
Running out from the orchard, along the highways and byways of the streets of Leicester would be planted even more fruit trees to make Leicester into the worlds first large Orchard City.
The idea of Orchard Cities is one that I first engaged with through my long time friend and artistic collaborator, Anne-Marie Culhane. The proposal includes bringing Anne-Marie to Leicester to work on taking the project forward with myself to engage as many individuals and communities from across the Leicester.
The City Mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby, has indicated that the site will be sold for redevelopment, probably to some corporate entity. This said the City Orchard proposal would fit very nicely with Leicester's Food Plan currently overseen by Deputy Mayor Councillor Rory Palmer.
Leicester, June 2014