Wednesday, August 27, 2008


When I visited an historic city I was fascinated by what I saw. Directly opposite the old cathedral there is a building covered in scaffolding and blue netting.

What’s taking place is described a ‘renaissance’. It represents a revival of intellectual and artistic achievement and vigour. The aim is to change the outward face of the city while preserving and enhancing its original character. It involves a programme of major developments that will bring about a re-energising and reshaping whilst remaining loyal to the heritage.

But all you can see is scaffolding and blue netting – which I found quite attractive in itself.

But, of course, it’s only temporary. All the work is hidden behind the façade. The scaffolding is there to provide a support structure for the new work that is taking shape.

How long will it take? Hard to say. It will be revealed in stages.

Funding is obviously a key issue and one that is being made more pressing by the current economic climate.

But there is a determination to change. Not to lose what exists and replace it with something wholly new, but to build on and revitalise what has gone before.

It requires commitment and an on-going investment of resources.

But once you start something like this, there is no going back.

When the scaffolding and blue netting eventually comes down, we’ll see how it looks.

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