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Changes to level of developer contribution rates in West Lothian

More funding will be available for public art in West Lothian following changes to the level of developer contribution rates.

A recent Council Executive meeting saw a decision made to bring developers contribution levels for public art back up previous levels.

The change to contribution will mainly affect developers of large residential schemes with employment and social housing developers continuing to be exempt from contributions.

For a single development of residential schemes of 50 houses the original contribution of £250 per unit has been re-instated. This was down to £190 per unit when it was at its reduced contribution level.

While for residential schemes of between 10 - 49 units, the original contribution of £150 per unit has been re-instated.

The recent reinstatement means more funding will be made available to the Public Art Fund to enable more art projects to be delivered on a case by case basis across West Lothian.

Projects to have benefited from contributions from developers so far include the new, East Calder Partnership Centre and the Almondvale Park underpasses and underbridges as part of the wider Almondvale Park restoration project.

The new West Calder High School and Blackburn Partnership Centre will be just two of the many projects to benefit from the installation of public art in the near future. 

An increase in funding will also provide a more secure foundation for the continuation of the council's public art grant scheme 'Grassroots2' which is under consideration for a further third round of applications.

The 'Grassroots2' public art grant scheme is currently live and to date made two awards of £20,000 each with another two awards pending for additional grant award applicants.

The scheme selects projects that will demonstrate a lasting benefit to their communities and will encourage people to feel better about themselves and their communal spaces.

The increase in funding will also provide a budget for the continuation of the care of the existing public artworks.

Executive councillor for culture and leisure Dave King commented: "West Lothian is the home of internationally recognised pieces of public art, with over 80 artworks located around the county.

"The decision to reinstate the original contribution rate for developers will allow public art across the county to continue to be vibrant, creative and sustainable."