Lighting up Longbridge

International artists heading to town this week.

Internationally acclaimed artists and regeneration experts are set to descend upon Longbridge this week as the town counts down to its hugely anticipated Light Festival.

To mark the beginning of the festival, Longbridge will play host to the Tran-si-tion International Conference on Friday 24 October, between 9am and 5.30pm at Bournville College Conference Centre.

The conference will be headlined by world-famous artist Daan Roosegaarde, (winner of multiple awards including INDEX Design Award, World Technology Award, Charlotte Köhler Award, Accenture Innovation Award, and China’s Most Successful Design Award) who will share his experience on how large scale artistic interventions and technological innovations have helped create a sense of place in previous urban projects.

Additionally, the conference will welcome Jean Francois Zurawik, Director of Fête des Lumières in Lyon; a festival that attracts over four million visitors each year and has led to Lyon being described as the City of Light. Other speakers include Mike Murray, Senior Development Surveyor at St. Modwen, Glenn Howells, Director at Glenn Howells Architect and Michael Artz, Director and Programme Curator at Halle 14, Helen Marriage, Director at Artichoke and Nigel Edmondson, former City Design Manager at Birmingham City Council.

Open to the local business community and the general public, more than 100 tickets have already been purchased for the conference, with people attending from across the UK.

Claire Farell, Director at WERK, said: “Tran-si-tion International Conference will provide a key platform to highlight best practice within regeneration schemes, urban design, strategic planning, placemaking and art within a social urban context.

“The conference has been developed in response to the transitional complexity that Longbridge has experienced and is currently facing as it regenerates. For nearly a century the area was dominated physically, socially, economically and visually by one of the largest car factories in the world”

Once the site of the former MG Rover plant, Longbridge is being transformed by St. Modwen, the UK’s leading regeneration specialist, through a £1 billion regeneration project. To date, the developer has delivered the first phase of the £70 million town centre and a three acre public park, as well as housing, employment and learning opportunities.

Tickets for the conference can be purchased online at and are priced at £45 (£25 concessions). The conference has been developed and produced by WERK, a Birmingham based not for profit public art organisation behind Longbridge Public Art Project and Longbridge Light Festival on behalf of Bournville College.

Longbridge Light Festival will take place on Saturday 25th October between 6pm and 10pm in Longbridge town centre. For further information visit

Pic: Daan Roosegaarde’s Crystal Eindhoven