In December 2004, Alfredo Jaar and Charles Quick were appointed as Lead Artists on the Tithebarn Project, a plan to regenerate around one third of Preston City Centre. These roles were developed through the advocacy of In Certain Places, who persuaded the developers and Preston City Council to appoint artists to work alongside the masterplan architects. The artists were employed to develop concepts and programmes at all levels throughout the scheme, from identifying opportunities for the integration of artists’ work into the basic fabric of the Tithebarn Project and brokering artist/ architect partnerships, to informing higher level masterplanning decisions.
The aims of the Lead Artist scheme included the facilitation of greater community involvement in the development of Preston city centre, in order to meet needs which might otherwise go unrecognised, and to provide the development with a unique character, distinct from other regional and national development of a similar scale. The appointment was also seen as a way to find solutions for integrating the development within the existing fabric of the city and to support a culture of innovation.
Between 2004 and 2007, the artists undertook research and made numerous presentations to the City and the developers. Due to legal issues and the financial crisis, the Tithebarn Project was finally abandoned in 2007. However, In Certain Places have continued to work with Preston City Council to explore new approaches to the development of the city.