Schools from around the country – including Turves Green Girls and Colmers Schools – will be taking part in a photography competition to mark the 30th anniversary of the UK’s leading regeneration specialist, Longbridge based developer, St Modwen.

The “Making Places” competition will see GCSE Art students from schools close to St Modwen developments, examine their area in photographs, looking at the placemaking that is going on around them: community, urban design, architecture.

Turves Green Girls pupils looking at Longbridge through their smartphones
Turves Green Girls pupils looking at Longbridge through their smartphones

Students will visit St Modwen development sites close to them to attend workshops with Stephen Burke. Stephen is a photographer for the Telegrapher and Financial Times and a member of WERK, the award winning art organisation which oversees the Longbridge Public Art Project. He will provide them with insightful guidance on how to encapsulate the theme of placemaking and a sense of community through photography, in addition to offering careers advice in this field.

By the end of the academic year, schools will submit their best entries, before a panel of judges decide a shortlist of seven.

The national final will take place in September where the winner will be announced and awarded with a state of the art camera and £3,000 towards the school’s art department.

Steve Prosser, Midlands and North Staffordshire regional director at St. Modwen said: “For the last 30 years, St. Modwen has been relentless in its mission to bring new life to areas in need of regeneration and create places for people to live, work, learn, shop and enjoy. In our 30th year, we wanted to capture what we do as a business and to share this with local communities. The photography competition enables us to document what regeneration looks like in Birmingham in 2016, but more importantly, has been designed to inspire the next generation to explore what it is that gives a true sense of place to any community as well educating them on urban design and providing valuable photography skills from industry experts.”

Ben Bolgar, Senior Director, The Princes Foundation for Building Communities and competition judge said: “Placemaking, in creating better places to live, is fundamental to the work of The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community. We welcome this competition from St Modwen to encourage future generations to think about what it means and how architecture and urban design can improve quality of life.  I am very much looking forward to judging the entries and wish all the entrants the best of luck.”

Sarah Barton, teacher at Turves Green Girls’ School and Technology College, added: “We are really excited about the competition and participating in the workshops. It is a great opportunity for the students to learn more about their immediate area and the urban environment as well as have access to important insight from a national photographer. Most importantly, the initiative links strongly with the curriculum through ‘professional practice’ and will go a long way in assisting students with their respective GCSE projects.”

For more information on St. Modwen’s 30th anniversary and the national schools competition, please visit http://www.stmodwen.co.uk/corporate-social-responsibility/30th-anniversary

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