An imaginative UK artist with towering ambition could land a £25,000 commission by designing special additions to a landmark attraction.

The Auckland Project, the regeneration charity with a collection of heritage attractions in Bishop Auckland, has announced what it calls “a special opportunity for a UK illustrator or artist”.

Would-be commission winners are being asked to design nine large-scale shutter panels, to be displayed on Auckland Tower, in Bishop Auckland. 

The successful artist will secure a £25,000 commission and spend the coming months designing their artwork, to be unveiled next spring.

The Northern Echo: Auckland Tower at the Auckland Project 

Auckland Tower is the first point of interaction for visitors to The Auckland Project.

The distinctive building was designed by Níall McLaughlin Architects and opened to the public in October 2018.

Read more: New museum exploring faith due to open at Auckland Castle

Arranged in collaboration with Arts&Heritage, which connects contemporary artists with historic organisations, illustrators and artists are invited to share their existing portfolio of work and an initial 250-word response.

The shortlisted artists will then be invited to an interview with key stakeholders in October, including Ted Carden, assistant professor at Northumbria School of Design, at Northumbria University, Newcastle.

Clare Baron, head of exhibitions at The Auckland Project, said: “Bishop Auckland has a rich history spanning over 2000 years, right back to the arrival of the Roman army at Binchester.

“Standing in a prominent position on the Market Place, the Auckland Tower is designed to tell this story.

“It is a landmark to celebrate our past and shared heritage, but it also represents the beginning of a new chapter in the town’s history.  

“With a wealth of talented artists, illustrators and designers around the UK, we hope that this commission will create a lasting legacy.

“It is an opportunity to become part of the story, to have a permanent place in Bishop Auckland’s history, while helping to build and inspire a vibrant future.” 

The Auckland Project is seeking submissions which bring the history of the site to life.

While the story of the nine shutter panels does not need to be linear, applicants are encouraged to capture a sense of passing time, with the successful designs to be printed in long lasting enamel on steel. 

The brief for the work, plus the application form and background information are available via, the project website.

Read more: First look at panoramic view from platform of new Auckland Tower

Stephanie Allen, chief executive at Arts&Heritage, said: “It’s a pleasure to work together with The Auckland Project to find the perfect artist or illustrator to leave their creative stamp on Auckland Tower for many years to come.  

“The building itself is extremely unique with a dramatic 29m tower that gives unrivalled views across the rural parkland and area.

“We look forward to receiving a range of creative responses that bring together Bishop Auckland's rich history of faith, architecture, industry and the natural environment.”

Read next:

Auckland Tower opens to the public

Thousands flock to Auckland Tower in Bishop Auckland

Day of celebration to herald new landmark– the Auckland Tower

Get the latest news, sport and entertainment delivered straight to your device for just £3 for three months. Click here.Towering commission 

Applications must be submitted by the deadline of Monday September 18, at 5pm.

All entries should be emailed to 

Tickets can be booked via, which gives more information about the project.