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Barnsley model shows the value of vision

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Having read David Clark's views on Alsop's model for Barnsley, I just had to reply (AJ 26.6.03).

Barnsley wanted a model that made people think very differently about their town, that portrayed a vision and not just a plan.We wanted to make people think and to inspire. All of these things were achieved.

The response has been very positive. After all, the model is based on a vision developed collaboratively with the people of Barnsley.

The model has been on display in Barnsley for three months, and has also been at the Venice Biennale and the Royal Academy, to great acclaim. It is a bright conceptual tool to engage people in debate about the future, as much a work of art as strictly a model.We have further plans to use it in marketing investment opportunities in Barnsley, and promoting South Yorkshire in Brussels.

Mr Clark, rather than providing low abuse of the model, might consider the value of inspiration and vision. What interests Barnsley is the potential of new ideas in moving forward a proud but deprived area, not the shape of our 'blobby bits'.

David Kennedy, director of development, Barnsley MBC

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