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People' Choice - Time to give your verdict

The Hei People, one of the projects in trophy contention at Medway Culture and Design Awards 2008
The Hei People, one of the projects in trophy contention at Medway Culture and Design Awards 2008

The countdown to the inaugural Medway Culture and Design Awards ceremony has begun – and Medway Messenger readers will determine the outcome of one of the awards.

Today we open the vote for the People’s Choice Award, where you decide which of the public realm nominees should walk away with the trophy at next month’s presentation evening.

Landmarks in the running include three public art projects and three Medway open spaces.

Run by Medway Council and backed by the Medway Messenger, the Medway Culture and Design Awards will celebrate the area’s thriving cultural sector and the importance of quality and diversity in building and landscape design.

More than 100 nominations were received across the broad categories that encompass culture and design, and in the special recognition categories. Judging took place during the summer and the winners will be announced at a celebration at Rochester’s Corn Exchange on Thursday, November 27.

Votes cast by Medway Messenger readers in the Arriva People’s Choice category will be added to final votes cast by the audience at the awards night to decide the public realm winner.

Helen Cockersole, the council’s deputy 2012 manager and awards organiser, said: “We are delighted with the fantastic response to the awards – the diversity and calibre of the nominations. We thought it was only right that the public should determine the outcome of the award celebrating culture and design in our public spaces, and we look forward to seeing which of the nominees emerges victorious.”

Who is in the running? Take your pick from one of the following:

* Shadowplay – Strand Mural: A mural depicting the history of The Strand, Gillingham, created by artists Wendy Daws and Mark Barnes following community photographic workshops. It is composed of silhouettes of past and present visitors to the Strand.

* Hei People: Public art project by internationally-acclaimed Finnish artist Reijo Kela consisting of hundreds of dressed scarecrow-esque figures made from wood, straw and dirt. They were installed at Fort Amherst in Chatham, and made a brief return appearance as part of the 2008 Fuse Festival.

*2012 Countdown Clock: A sculpture by Medway artist Paula Groves to mark Medway’s countdown to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Located at the entrance to Rochester’s Visitor Information Centre and unveiled on 23 January 2007 as part of the launch of Medway’s 2012 campaign.

* Rochester Riverside Creeks: The reclaimed area of natural habitat forming part of the regeneration of Rochester riverfront. The creeks have been opened up to the public through the creation of new 1.5km waterfront footpath.

*Riverside Country Park: A 100-hectares country park alongside the Medway Estuary in Rainham boasting various habitats within the park, including mudflats and salt marsh, ponds and reed-beds, grassland and scrub, which provide a haven for wildlife. The park has received a Green Flag Award for being welcoming and well maintained and supported by the local community.

* The Vines, Rochester: The Vines has an important history associated with the cathedral and forms part of the heritage of Rochester. It is an historic green space within the Rochester City Centre Conservation Area and is a Grade II listed park. It has also received the Green Flag Award.

How to make your vote:

Write your choice on a postcard and send it to People’s Choice Award, Medway Messenger, Medway House, Ginsbury Close, Sir Thomas Longley Road, Medway City Estate, Strood, ME2 4DU.

Alternatively email medwaymessenger@thekmgroup.co.uk

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