Wrapping up a busy 2023 with a positive outlook for 2024
Birthday celebrations for Artform Urban, a charity trek in the Peak District and the launch of a new HVM-compliant seat were just three of the highlights of a busy 2023 for the Bailey Street Furniture Group (BSFG).
It has been a year in which the Group’s divisions have had the privilege of working on several nationally significant public realm projects demanding a diverse range of skills and expertise. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the scheme to redevelop the promenade at Rhos-on-Sea on the North Wales coast.
In this major sea defences reconstruction project, Artform Urban Furniture continued its long term contract with Griffiths Construction to provide a vast range of street furniture elements as work progressed to its final stages close to Colwyn Bay. The products supplied included elegant concrete seating, bicycle repair stations, curved waveform seating elements, vibrant picnic and outdoor dining tables, unique engraved oak sleeper benches and planters much more.
The completion of the Rhos-on-Sea project came in a year when Artform Urban Furniture celebrated its 10th anniversary. The growth of the company over the past decade is a testament to the success of its strategy to provide clients with a portfolio of high-quality products and services that enable them to invest in well-designed outdoor spaces that support the health and well-being of communities and contribute to creating a better world overall.
Since its inception as Bailey Artform, Artform Urban Furniture has developed in conjunction with its globally renowned partners, Landscape Forms, Metalco, and out-sider, to offer exceptional design-led street furniture to architects and specifiers.
Working in the community
Another interesting project that Bailey Street Furniture Group was proud to play a part in was Manchester City FC’s pioneering City in the Community charity initiative. It supports people across Greater Manchester by empowering healthier lives through football, with youth-led programmes designed to improve physical and mental wellbeing as well as the creation of healthy futures and healthy communities.
As part of the facilities that City in the Community provides, in June the Group’s AMV Playgrounds division was tasked with providing a brand new multi-use games area (MUGA) sports pitch at Scotland Hall Road Park in Newton Heath. Here, AMV Playgrounds used its bespoke design knowledge and engineering experience to meet the client’s vision, which included developing a detailed layout for the scheme, along with practical advice on its manufacture and installation following various health and safety regulations.
AMV had the honour of attending the official opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new play zone which coincided with Manchester City’s historic Treble victory celebration and saw the first public outing for the 3 trophies on UK soil since their win at the Champions League final in Istanbul on the weekend.
Divine intervention in York!
Prior to the completion of this transformative project, BSFG was involved in the redevelopment of a green space adjacent to York Minster. The project to redevelop College Green saw the team work alongside local landscape architects PWP Design to create an open and welcoming space complete with bespoke manufactured accessible seating elements which run alongside planting beds overlooking the new green.
It was an important project that represents another stage in the wider renovation of this historic area, which was officially opened at the end of March by the Dean of York, the Very Revd Dominic Barrington.
Putting our best foot forward
In May, staff from both BSFG’s north and south offices donned their walking boots and waterproofs to team up for a charity walk in the Peak District. The hike near Edale was organised to raise money for the Group’s chosen charity, Trees for Cities, which aims to improve air quality and the lives of people living in cities across the country.
The team completed a 12.8km walk through the stunning Peak District, close to BSFG’s head office, on a route known as Kinder Scout Mass Trespass Walk. And with just under £1500 raised, it was a great achievement for everyone involved despite the sore feet and aching legs!
A growing business pushing ahead
A major corporate development came in July when it was announced that Tikehau Capital had acquired a majority stake in BSFG – “CReators of the Outside World”, also known as CROWD. CROWD is formed of like-minded businesses providing premium street furniture products, with a focus on circularity and digital city solutions.
The investment by Tikehau Capital will enable BSFG to continue to grow and cement its position at the forefront of public realm design and low-carbon mobility by providing high-quality, sustainable and safe products for everyone. It is a development which signifies the beginning of an exciting new era for the Group where new opportunities can be unlocked and enables it to build on the significant contracts already in the pipeline.
Amongst these are two major projects in the higher education sector. At Bournemouth University, the Group will deliver a new cycle hub with secure cycle parking and a bike service station for students and staff. At Manchester Metropolitan University, BSFG has been awarded the contract to provide large bespoke podium tiered seating and street furniture in a revamped green space.
These new contracts will run along existing long term projects for many loyal BSFG clients. These include several projects for Willmott Dixon, most notably their work to regenerate Gascoigne Estate in Barking and two new prestigious office schemes in central Birmingham at 19 Cornwall Street and 8/10 Brindley Place.
Work will also continue in Birmingham with main contractor Winvic on its Holloway Head brownfield development in the city centre and The Residencies at Edgbaston, as well as in Nottingham at its St Anns Wells Road scheme.
Continued product innovation
One of the newest products developed by BSGF launched in September at the International Security Expo at London Olympia. Following the completion of final testing, the Protect Seat was ready to debut at the show and it received a warm reception from specifiers working on sites where hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM) measures are required.
It joins a growing Protect range, which also includes bollards, cycle stands, litter bins and planters designed to withstand impact from vehicles to IWA 14-1 standards. The range enables stylish, attractively designed street furniture to be incorporated into the public realm without compromising the protection of pedestrians and assets.
What’s to come in 2024?
The next 12 months will see the launch of further new products to increase the options available to maximise accessibility in outdoor public places, as well as support and encourage greater cycle use. New materials will also unlock the potential for different approaches to public realm design and specification. Details of all these will be announced once the thorough testing processes are complete and the necessary certifications are secured.
BSFG will also be extending its support to specifiers and contractors in 2024 with the launch of several new CPDs and enhanced certified educational presentations. These will enable customers to gain the latest insights into the technical capabilities of various street furniture products and how to deploy them correctly for the best long-term results and return on investment.
It all makes for an exciting future as David Pringle, Managing Director at BSFG explains.
"As we wrap up another year and reflect on the busy and transformative period we've experienced, I extend my sincere gratitude to our clients, partners and suppliers for your support throughout the year, and our team for their unwavering commitment, hard work, patience, understanding, and collaboration.
Looking ahead to 2024, we anticipate exciting opportunities and aim to build upon the strong foundations laid in the past few years, aligning with our vision and ambitions."