Celebrated artist Rana Begum has been revealed as the artist behind the impressive designs of the newly refurbished and repainted beach huts in Folkestone.

Folkestone & Hythe District Council and Creative Folkestone have made the announcement on the same day of the launch of this year’s Triennial – which will run between 22 July and 2 November and include the beach huts in its programme.

The striking design scheme encompassed 80 new wooden chalets built along the seafront in Folkestone. Battling against delays due to the elements and covid, council officers implemented the artists design using 118 different paint colours.

Photo: Thierry Bal

In addition, 35 of the existing beach huts have had a facelift and work has been carried out in the surrounding area to improve retaining walls and repair ramps and steps. Forty-four beach huts that were falling into disrepair were demolished as part of the project. Folkestone Town Council are installing CCTV to cover the area and help keep the beach huts protected from vandalism.

Cllr John Collier, Folkestone & Hythe District Council’s Cabinet Member for Property Management and Grounds Maintenance, said: “We were delighted to partner with Creative Folkestone and turn a refurbishment and development project into a visionary and head-turning piece of art. “These beach huts embody the spirit of Folkestone – bold, creative and extraordinary. I am thrilled that they will be part of the very special Triennial this year.”

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Alastair Upton, Chief Executive of Creative Folkestone said: “After a year’s delay, and all that has happened in that time, we are delighted to present the return of the Folkestone Triennial this summer. Folkestone’s communities have been so supportive of each other these last twelve months and have shown incredible resilience despite being one of the hardest hit by Covid-19.

“The pandemic has highlighted the value of culture in our everyday lives, and now we can celebrate our town, reimagined by a brilliant line-up of artists, and show the world what Folkestone is made of.”

This scheme has been supported by the trustees of the Folkestone Parks and Pleasure Grounds charity as a way of regenerating the area and discouraging anti-social behaviour.

This project has also allowed the rental income of the chalets to be maximised so that we can reduce any financial burden on council tax payers.

The beach huts are very popular and there is currently a large waiting list of people wishing to lease them. Those who have managed to secure a beach hut from this list have already been contacted.

For more about information about the beach hut scheme go to www.folkestone-hythe.gov.uk/beach-huts

To find out more about this year’s Folkestone Triennial please visit www.creativefolkestone.org.uk/folkestone-triennial

By Ed

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