World art competition launched for iconic landmark near Ebbsfleet International Station

21 May 2007

--Giant signpost for Ebbsfleet Valley--Marker to put Eurostar's new station on the map as the fastest way to Europe
To put Ebbsfleet Valley and the new Ebbsfleet International station on the map, London & Continental Railways (LCR), Eurostar and Land Securities today (21 May) announced the launch of a prestigious world-wide competition to create a new iconic landmark that will publicly pinpoint one of the largest regeneration areas in Europe.
Ebbsfleet International station is strategically located just off Junction 2 of the M25 close to Bluewater and the Dartford Crossing. It lies at the centre of Kent Thameside in an area known as Ebbsfleet Valley, where over the next 20 years, 10,000 new homes and up to 9 million sq ft of office, retail, leisure and community space will be delivered.
Eurostar services from Ebbsfleet International will begin a few days after the launch of services from St Pancras International on 14 November 2007. Both stations lie on High Speed 1, the UK's first high-speed line, with trains operating at 186 mph.
London & Continental Railways is responsible for the delivery of the High Speed 1 project on time and within budget. It is using the new infrastructure to help leverage over £10 billion of investment in regeneration around Ebbsfleet, Stratford and King's Cross.
Land Securities is the developer of Ebbsfleet Valley and has allocated a site for the future landmark near its Springhead Park residential development. The site is one of the highest in the area, overlooking and clearly visible from both the A2 trunk road and the international station.
Eurostar will be the international rail transport provider for the 2012 Olympics and the Ebbsfleet landmark will be the first new work of art on the outskirts of London before the Games. The landmark will form part of London & Continental Railways' arts programme that also includes a 9m high sculpture by Paul Day at St Pancras International station.
The competition will be managed by London-based art agency Futurecity. The judging panel will include experts from leading arts organisations in both the public and private sectors. A shortlist of artists who are internationally recognised and who have a strong track record of delivering outstanding art projects will be invited to make proposals.
Local residents are expected to have the opportunity to view the four short-listed proposals at Ebbsfleet International before the end of the year. It is planned that the winning design will be chosen by spring 2008, and that the landmark will be complete before high-speed domestic rail services begin operation in Kent in 2009.
Stephen Jordan, Managing Director for Stations & Property, London & Continental Railways, commented: "There is a fascinating history to the Ebbsfleet area. We are convinced that the landmark, the new developments and the new station, will prove to be a strong catalyst for increased prosperity in the area; with new homes, jobs and business opportunities. When the high-speed domestic services are introduced in 2009, it will only take 17 minutes from St Pancras International to Ebbsfleet for people doing business here. With ample car parking, connections with Fastrack and other local bus rail services, Ebbsfleet International will also become a major rail-hub with services throughout Kent as well as to Europe."
Richard Brown, Chief Executive, Eurostar, commented: "This is a challenging and exciting project. From November 2007, Ebbsfleet International will be the fastest way to Europe for more than 10 million people across southern England. It is important that the many hundreds of thousands of international travellers who will use the station also recognise the huge potential of the area, particularly for inward investment. It is equally important that the local community are proud of, and inspired by the landmark."
Robyn Pyle, Head of Urban Community Development, Land Securities, commented: "We believe the landmark will be an important part of what Ebbsfleet Valley needs. It will be a focal point, indicative of the culturally rich and diverse lifestyles we want to support. For the thousands of new and existing residents in the area, it will need to be a work of art which sits naturally in the landscape and complements the new homes and parklands."London & Continental Railways, Eurostar and Land Securities are funding the competition and have committed to more than £1 million towards the landmark. Futurecity will be seeking match funding for a further £1 million, raising a total of £2 million. The project has already received enquiries from a range of parties interested in offering financial support.
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Notes to Editors
1. London & Continental Railways is the company behind High Speed 1, delivering the UK's largest ever construction project on time for opening on 14 November and within its £5.8bn budget. LCR also owns Eurostar (UK) Ltd. For more information visit:
www.highspeed1.com and www.stpancras.com
2. Eurostar is the high-speed train service linking London, Ebbsfleet (from November 2007), Ashford, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Avignon, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris and the French Alps.
3. From November 2007, Ebbsfleet International will be the fastest way to Europe. Eurostar services will take just 2h05 to Paris, 1h41 to Brussels and 1h10 to Lille. The station will open a few days after the launch of Eurostar services from St Pancras International in central London on 14 November 2007.
4. Land Securities is the UK's leading real estate investment trust. Its national portfolio of commercial property, worth many billions of pounds, includes some of Britain's best-known shopping centres, such as the Birmingham Bullring and Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth, as well as London landmarks such as the Piccadilly Lights and Westminster City Hall. It is leading urban renaissance through a billion pound development programme, transforming Exeter, Bristol and Cardiff city centres as well as key sites in Central London. It is also one of the leading names in property partnerships and through urban community development is involved in long-term, large-scale regeneration projects in the south-east. For more information, visit: www.landsecurities.com
5. Land Securities owns 50% of the land at Ebbsfleet Valley and is carrying out the development as a joint venture partnership with Lafarge Cement UK Ltd. For more information visit: www.ebbsfleetvalley.co.uk
For more information
London & Continental Railways press office, Ben Ruse +44 (0)20 7391 4369 / 07717 151 070 / bruse@lcrhq.co.uk
Eurostar press office, +44 (0)20 7922 4494, press.office@eurostar.co.uk
Land Securities press contact, Andy Martin at Trimedia Harrison Cowley, 020 7404 6777