Launch & Legacy
Dream was officially launched on May 31st 2009. Bathed in glorious sunshine, thousands of people enjoyed a traditional Whit Walk to the summit of Sutton Manor, with a May Queen, performances by the Greenalls and Valley brass bands plus the Sing Out Choir, together with ex-miners and guest of honour, artist Jaume Plensa. In research conducted at the launch 85% of respondents believed that Dream could help create a positive image for St.Helens and attract people to the area, while 75% believed that Dream would become an icon for the Northwest. The artwork has already had a substantial positive impact:
*Dream has generated worldwide media coverage for St.Helens
*It was awarded the prestigious Marsh Sculpture Prize foe the best public sculpture of the year, plus 8 other awards
*It is attracting tens of thousands of additional visitors to the site and surrounding region every year
*It has established itself as an icon, appearing in place marketing and inward investment literature, annual reports and private sector advertising
*Local residents now have a new and enhanced leisure resource on their doorstep
The whole artistic development process has stimulated and rekindled passion, pride and creativity within the immediate community. Implementing a high impact legacy programme has always been an explicit objective, and the challenge now is to sustain and build on the positive momentum generated by Dream's creation and launch. This legacy is intended to take three different forms: enhancing the artwork site itself plus a broader regeneration impact. Substantial progress has already been made in the two years since Dream was launched:
*The illumination of the sculpture at night
*Access improvements, onsite signage and comprehensive path upgrades
*The installation of new benches and picnic tables
*The provision of a comprehensive range of digitial visitor interpretation materials: audioguides, podcasts, mobile phone apps, augmented reality visualisation of the former colliery, toposcope, a geo-caching trail plus a children's image hunter's trail.
*The installation of a visitor counter that has highlighted that approximately 60,000-70,000 people now visit the site every year.
Dream is also the catalyst for the creation of a new 300 hectare regional forest park and outdoor pursuits destination, the Bold Forest Park.