The regeneration of the Jarnac Court, Dalkeith, aimed to revitalise the town centre. New dynamic Contrast architectural floodlights, from Thorn Lighting, have helped modernise the 1960s urban square and allow Midlothian Council to use colour to celebrate festivities.
Eight miles to the southeast of Edinburgh, Dalkeith grew up in the Middle Ages as a baronial burgh under the successive control of the Douglases and Buccleuchs. Today, it is the largest town in Midlothian and is twinned with Jarnac in the Southwest of France – home to international cognac brands.
In Dalkeith’s town centre, Jarnac Court is just one of several local improvement projects in Midlothian to have been given the go-ahead for funding from the Scottish Government’s Town Centre Capital Fund.
Situated along the Dalkeith high street, ex-council offices at Jarnac Court are now a multi-use development consisting of local businesses and residential apartments. When built in the 1960s, the Jarnac Court redevelopment was considered by many to be innovative; its odd shape and the immediate area were based on the phased demolition of the existing buildings and followed their street pattern to cause minimum disruption.
The Town Centre Fund 2019-2020 enabled local authorities to stimulate and support place-based economic investments, encouraging town centres to diversify and flourish and creating footfall through local improvements and partnerships. Specifically, this fund contributes to transformative investments which drive local economic activities and re-purpose town centres to become more diverse, successful, and sustainable.
The regeneration of the Jarnac Court aimed to revitalise the Dalkeith town centre and included paintwork, improved lighting, new seating, and paving repairs.
Wayne Clarke, Operations and Asset Manager at Midlothian Council, explains, “Jarnac Court was highlighted as an area for development under our economic development masterplan. The strategy was to create better usable spaces for people. We wanted an inviting area that would encourage the use of the space for events and gatherings such as nighttime markets. The lighting was a key part of the strategy; we also installed power sources to power these events.”
The chosen lighting solution was an arrangement of three Thorn Contrast RGBW DMX architectural floodlights with asymmetric optics on six bespoke aluminium columns. Positioned throughout the square, the floodlights are controlled by an Amaze Controller, creating a vibrant urban space that the council can set to a specific colour to support local and national events.
Derick Ramsay, National Sales Manager, Zumtobel Group, comments, “We were invited to tender, along with many of our competitors, but our Contrast scheme was considered the best approach and value. We took the time to understand the councils’ needs and made every effort to ensure we delivered these, with several onsite fixes during the project.”
The Contrast range is a unified series of architectural luminaires that provide unlimited versatility of colour, ideal for Midlothian’s requirements. Its RGBW multichip LEDs are mixed in a single lens to give a homogeneous, perfectly blended colour output with no multi-shadow effect on lit surfaces.
For example, if they were to host a German-style nighttime market at Christmas, they could program dynamic or static light scenes controlled via DMX RDM. This makes it easy to transform the appearance of the square at night with a splash of Bavarian colour. Additionally, Contrast’s pole-mounting interface is designed to complement its identity.
Wayne concludes, “The lighting installation has certainly provided the desired outcome. The finished effect is getting Jarnac Court more recognised as an events venue, helping us build vibrant local economies. Furthermore, the Contrast arrangements not only illuminate the area but have become a distinctive architectural element of the urban environment.”
Photograph accreditation: Niall Hastie.