A Veritable catalyst
I have been a supporter of Verity since the day news of Mr Hirst’s offer was publicised. Now she is in place at the harbour entrance, I am still happy and also surprised at how she blends in, looking magnificent against the backdrop of Hillsborough.
This weekend, the Quay at Ilfracombe was busier than it was in August, with all the visitors coming to see her. There were even cars from France, Belgium and Holland on the pier, and a real buzz among the people, all looking happy and talking to each other.
Let Verity be the catalyst for the regeneration of Ilfracombe and the harbour. This is a wonderful gesture by Damien Hirst and it would be a shame to let the momentum stop there.
So that Verity doesn’t get lost among all the visiting cars, I would like to see the Pier transformed into a sculpture park. Perhaps we could encourage other artists to follow in Mr Hirst’s footsteps and loan us other sculptures?
To compensate for the loss of parking on the Pier, our councils should look at transforming the bus station site into a three-storey car park to accommodate all the extra visitors expected (something along the lines of the one at Tiverton, which is not an eyesore).
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The next stage would be to provide the much needed breakwater to the harbour which would allow visiting large ships to dock at Ilfracombe, thus bringing us even more visitors and revenue.
I know that this idea will be pooh-poohed as too expensive, but I’m sure that there are ways and means for the money to be raised.
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After all everyone in North Devon will derive benefits from Ilfracombe rising from the ashes and becoming prosperous once more.