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3D model of Ilkley fountain commissioned


Representatives from the Improving Ilkley team with blacksmith and metalworker James Wilkinson

A 3D scale model of the new fountain planned at the junction of Brook Street and The Grove has been commissioned by The Ilkley Fountain Delivery Group.


After an open competition and consultation earlier this year, followed by initial development of the winning design, there has been significant national interest in the project and a team of people is coming together to consolidate support for the sphagnum moss-inspired Ilkley Fountain and turn the vision into reality.


The Ilkley Fountain Delivery Group, made up of Improving Ilkley, representatives from key funder Ilkley BID, associated collaborators, and a number of additional local individuals with specific areas of expertise, is in the process of developing a detailed delivery plan for the coming months including a timeline, technical specification, costing, fundraising, and communication.


Alongside the commissioning of a number of necessary ecological surveys, most recently a crayfish survey of Mill Ghyll, and plans for reinstating the gravity-fed fountain mechanism, the team has received a private donation specifically for a 3D scale model which will accurately represent the materials, dimensions, and forms of the sculpture design.


The team is working with Yorkshire blacksmith and metalworker James Wilkinson https://jameswilkinsonblacksmith.co.uk/, who is fabricating the scale model of the sphagnum moss design by Juliet and Jamie Gutch. Once finished, the model will be on view in various locations in Ilkley in early 2024 and used to support the final phases of fundraising. Juliet and Jamie have worked with James Wilkinson before in 2019 on the fabrication in copper of a sculptural mobile for the Newby Hall Sculpture Trail.


A recent email from a member of the public summed up the team’s own commitment to delivering the fountain project: “For the Ilkley community, for art’s sake and for the natural environment we are all entrusted to protect, our wholehearted support lies with the beautiful Sphagnum Moss fountain design”.


A spokesperson for The Ilkley Fountain Delivery Group told Ilkley Chat: “The team hopes that the model will convey how the final fountain will celebrate Bradford Council’s recent and significant commitment to re-wetting areas of moorland and planting sphagnum moss, thereby supporting carbon capture, peat restoration, improved biodiversity, better air and water quality, flood reduction and resilience to wildfire. The model will also help members of the community visualise how the fountain will enhance, and be enhanced by, its position at the meeting of Brook Street and Mill Ghyll where the energy of the town meets the calm of trees and water.”


To find out more or to offer support, please contact trustees@improvingilkley.org

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