Artists Denis O'Connor and Bernie Rutter

Artists Denis O'Connor and Bernie Rutter

Funding Public Art

There are different ways of funding works of art in the public realm such as patronage, sponsorship and partnerships.

In cities around the world, private developers are realising that there are significant benefits to funding public art schemes for their projects. These include:

  • Improve employee and tenant working environments
  • Create a unique look or landmark feature for a project that gives a marketing edge
  • Demonstrate a wider civic commitment
  • Translate into higher rents and a more desirable office location.


Derby offers different ways to contribute to public art schemes such as planning agreements, regeneration projects, and training programmes such as Creative Pathways.

Sculpture by Chris Brammall

Sculpture by Chris Brammall


Public art - guidance for developers

A public art programme of commissioning and creative engagement can provide a focus for communities to shape their environment and steer good design for new developments. Derby City Council supports the integration of public art within developments as part of the Core Strategy Place Making Principles and also provides a Public Art Strategy that gives ideas as to how to take a public art scheme forward.

"Where appropriate Derby City Council will seek to enter into a legal agreement to secure the provision of public art from developers of major development proposals, either through on-site provision/and /or financial contributions". Derby City Core Strategy



Derby City Council can offer a service and advice from commission through implementation to launch and publicity. Derby City Council can also offer developers a service on:


  • Appropriate forms of art in different media
  • Artist sourcing and short-lists
  • Administering the selection process
  • Project managing the commission
  • Acting as an agent for the client in communications with the artist and communities.
  • Design and access statements


Planning Process

Key to successful public art is the involvement of an artist at the earliest possible stage in the design process. It is important to make proper provision for the public art component within the development costs and pre-application negotiations.


Further Information Please Contact

General Information on public art in Derby


Planning Agreements





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Public art in Derby

Derby has a rich and impressive portfolio of Public Art that has evolved over for many years and steered by Derby City Council. In the last 20 years the public art process has completed over 35 contemporary public art schemes and generated over a 1 million pounds of funding to date nearly all of which is through the support of local developers and regeneration funding to improve the identity of places and engage local communities in the development of their places. Public art schemes enable local people young and old to be actively involved in the creative processes for each place as part of the consultation and there is also a training programme supported by local developers for young people called Creative Pathways which involves them in the design process for structures and public realm solutions.

This website invites discovery of all the artworks in the city through a variety of experiences and includes a map with locations and trails.

There are also a number of current schemes and community programmes to be involved in as well as a training programme for young people called Creative Pathways.

Guidance is offered below to developers for including artworks in developments with advice and guidance.


Benefits of Public Art

Public art is a process as well as the creation of an artwork that is symbolic of a place and it's people, the benefits are evident in completed projects across Derby.

These include:

  • Provides a positive and economically healthy image befitting a city of innovation and creativity.
  • Can attract people to live and work in the area and contributes to the local cultural offer 
  • High quality robust design can reduce maintenance
  • Can spearhead local identity and the regeneration of local places 
  • Supports local economies in the design and construction of the artwork
  • Provides a sense of ownership and local pride through creative engagement programmes
  • Public Art Is an expression of culture and a connection with local history and people
  • Can inspire young people when connected to training programmes and live public art projects. 



All photos are kindly donated with special thanks to:

Phil Murnaghan, Barry Roberts, and David Slinger


Artist Rachel Carter

Artist Rachel Carter