Tender for the Delivery of ‘Flight of Gold-Leaf Swallows’

Wilde’s Island Town (WIT) : Home of The Happy Prince

(This project is funded by Interreg Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme)


Tenders to be returned to




1.0 Introduction    

Arts Over Borders was established to deliver international world class literary-led multi-arts festivals inspired by the work, life and influences of Irish literary giants associated with the region through birth, schooling or life.  Nobel Laureate Samuel Beckett (Fermanagh), Ireland’s greatest dramatist of the second half of the 20th century attended Enniskillen’s Portora School as did the infamous Oscar Wilde.  In September 2018 Arts Over Borders was part of a four-nation consortium, Spot-lit, that gained funding for a Literary Tourism project celebrating Enniskillen as the home of the Happy Prince, the story written whilst Wilde attended Portora.

Background to Spot -lit Project

The untapped potential of literary tourism (LT) is the focus of Spot-lit, a new three-year project that aims to grow the literary tourism sector in the area known as the Northern Periphery and Arctic region. The aim of the programme is to support businesses and communities in this culturally-rich region to grow, collaborate and engage audiences more effectively together to enhance Literary Tourism and economic activity.  The project runs until March 2022.

Funded by the EU INTERREG Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme, the regions participating in the Spot-lit programme area are Northern Ireland and border counties Co. Cavan and Co.Monaghan, West of Ireland, Eastern Finland and South-West Scotland.

Spot-lit addresses the need for shared development and marketing of existing assets and the development of new ones, which respond to emerging literary and cultural consumer needs. This will result in a better cultural tourism offering and deliver greater economic impact than projects developed in national isolation.

Literary Tourism is an emerging niche sector within the wider cultural tourism sector, where places with literary heritage offer author and fiction-related literary tourism opportunities, along with opportunities arising from literary festivals, trails and book shops. In Northern Ireland, this would include literary rich locations such as Enniskillen, synonymous with the schooldays of Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett

Arts Over Borders will be contributing to the development of the four Pilot Projects, in particular Wilde’s Island Town in Enniskillen (NI) and this invitation to Tender is in respect of that Pilot Project.                                                                                                 


2.0 Arts Over Borders Literary Tourism Model–WILDE’S ISLAND TOWN: Home of The Happy Prince

2.1 Overview –The context of the model                          

World-wide, Oscar Wilde is second only in familiarity and popularity to the name of William Shakespeare, yet there is no single heritage destination in the world that proactively associates itself with Wilde in the way that Stratford does with Shakespeare.

Wilde spent seven years in Enniskillen at Portora Royal School. His most popular short story, The Happy Prince, is directly inspired by Enniskillen’s heritage assets, most notably Cole’s Monument which is situated atop Forthill on the furthest hill on the east side of town. The statue looks down on the town like a Nelson’s column, yet is a mostly ignored aspect of the town’s heritage landscape. Wilde would have viewed it daily from his dormitory window on the furthest hill on the west side of town. Many features of the story remain part of Fermanagh’s heritage today: Cole’s statue, Cathedral, Town Hall, market town/traders, the lake and its reeds. In 2015, it was discovered that a watercolour by Wilde residing in the British Museum that had been thought for over a century to depict Lough Corrib in Galway actually depicted Devenish Island.

There is no current interpretation of Wilde’s childhood presence in Enniskillen beyond a blue plaque at Portora Royal School and no appreciation or conversation in the wider community about how important Enniskillen and Fermanagh (as a town and a landscape) and his schooling there (igniting his love of Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece) impacted on the imagination of one of the world’s most loved writers. This is the need and the opportunity to reanimate the Wilde story with Enniskillen, one to be shared throughout the whole community and materialized into a home for Oscar Wilde and his compelling story – hence Wilde’s Island town.

A key issue that Wilde’s Island town will address is seasonality for Enniskillen and Fermanagh. The current reality is that it is principally a summer only tourism destination. Wilde’s Island town aims to ignite the spark to transform the area in the future into a year-round 365-day tourism destination associated with Oscar Wilde. It will holistically connect place, events, performances, businesses and community.

The project builds on the work laid down by the AOB destination literary tourism events in Enniskillen and Fermanagh on Samuel Beckett and Oscar Wilde that have been developed over the past several years. These are short 3-4 day festivals only and do not have the continuous year- round impact that Wilde’s Island Town seeks to develop. However, these existing Literary Tourism events have established the process of associating literary tourism with this part of the world

2.2 WILDE‘S ISLAND TOWN (WIT) Model Description

We began our work with a research project storyboarding and mapping the immediate tangible heritage locations associated with Wilde’s time in Enniskillen and his classical storytelling (Cole’s Monument, Cathedral, market town, the Town Hall, lake and reeds, Devenish Island, Portora Royal School).

We intend to draw in the wider Fermanagh heritage and contemporary social fabric which has a latent natural affinity and the potential to be reinterpreted in a Wildean context: Big Houses (National Trust’s Castle Coole, Florence Court, Crom & private Belle Isle, Colebrooke etc.), Enniskillen Castle (its Watergate tower offers a fairytale feature), historical ruins (Boa island, White Island, Inishmacsaint), and a range of SMEs, the high street shops, small design and crafts artisans, restaurants and cafes, accommodation and hospitality, leisure and recreation, gardening and outdoor landscape practitioners, etc.

Bearing in mind Wilde’s passion for the decorative arts (he designed his own book covers, was an interior designer, loved beautiful objects and flaunted his fashion sense) we will develop SME engagement in crafts, design, jewellery, ceramics, painting, sculpture, textiles, clothes and other products to join the Wildean theme of ‘It’s not life that influences art, it is art that influences life’, thereby offering their products greater reach. The Buttermarket Craft Village, High Street businesses and wider Fermanagh and NI SMEs can be involved.

2.3 Project Outcome

Within the Spot-lit Programme the primary aim of the Pilot Project model is to demonstrate how an entire urban town & community in all its facets of business, culture, education, tourism, services, leisure, hospitality industry, etc can be holistically brought together and united under a single literary tourism concept, a case of the whole being made greater through this model than the sum of its parts


3.0 Nature of Requirements

AOB is tasked with the pilot project development element of Spot-lit – Wilde’s Island Town : The Home of The Happy Prince.

The purpose of this tender is to engage an artist to design and realise the ‘Flight of Gold-Leaf Swallows’, seeking to maximise the connections between writer and place to explore the potential for economic stimulation and development.

3.1 Specific Requirements

Artist Brief for ‘flight of gold-leaf swallows’

  • Design and produce 150 individual handmade gold-leaf swallows, varying sizes to suit distance from the pedestrian’s eye, several different shapes of flight for variety – set on a durable material that will be resilient for permanent installation on town buildings of Enniskillen. The nature of gold-leaf flecks carried off in the wind is a feature of Wilde’s story
  • Source sufficient gold leaf required for 150 little gold-leaf swallows, three quotes for Project Coordinator approval
  • Sketch a storyboard street scape of ‘flight of swallow(s)’ through the island town, east (Cole’s Monument) to west (Portora), broken down into several consecutive building clusters to give a close-up experiential insight
  • Oversee proper placement installation of the little gold-leaf swallows
  • Full installation of Swallows to take place last week of April 2021
  • It is expected that the chosen contractor will be in regular contact with AOB regarding delivery of the project
  • AOB is required to report to the NPA on a 6 monthly basis therefore you will be required to provide timely relevant information as necessary

3.2 Timeframe

  • AOB expects that the successful provider will be able to commence preparatory work by March 22nd We would prefer completion (including overseeing installation) before April 30th 2021 (to fit with PR and marketing timeframe)
  • However, if circumstances do not permit we would consider an installation completion date no later than May 14th 2021
  • All work must be completed in accordance with COVID-19 Government Guidelines

3.3 Value of Contract

  • You must indicate the value of the contract and inclusive of VAT and the rate applicable. Please indicate a cost per hour/day. Maximum Budget for this line is £3,500

(Costs should also include travel costs and subsistence if required)

  • Anticipated cost for all materials must be included separately.
  • Costs for installation must be included separately


4.0 Minimum Technical Competence

Responders are required to demonstrate that they have sufficient capability, skills, financial and technical competence to be considered for the tender process. Therefore all responders’ are required to provide details of:

Organization/Individual details (whichever relevant to this invitation) including skills and experience

Details of previous contracts of similar nature –Product development, description of work, delivery date and contact details for 2 referees


5.0 Instructions to Tenderers

5.1 Format of Response/submission via email to include:

In addition to the response to the requirements outlined above, providers are required to submit the following as part of their proposal:

  • Methodology to be employed in completing the assignment
  • Evidence of expertise and understanding within the organisation (or individual) relevant to the requirements of this contract
  • Details of how the proposed contract will be managed and time frame for delivery (timescale from conception, design and realisation to delivery)
  • Originality of design concept relevant to the brief and connection to Wilde’s Island Town
  • Concept of the design relevant to the Island town of Enniskillen in a Visual format eg:  pdfs images and sketches, drawings, models computer generated images
  • Proposed installation process
  • Please include an up to date CV/bio and samples of previous work – public sculpture / completed commissions
  • CVs of personnel to be employed on the contract with details to include their experience and qualifications
  • References will be required

5.2 Return of Tender

Tenders (including all attachments) must be received by 5pm 15th March 2021

Returned to


6.0 Award Criteria and Tender Evaluation

This contract will be awarded on foot of the most economically advantageous tenders in terms of the following criteria and weightings:

– Capability to realise design brief to the full (Individual swallow design and overall concept) and relevant qualifications and experience of personnel proposed (33%);

– Understanding of needs /conditions to deliver the contract requirements (33%);

– Ultimate cost for the work proposed to the contracting authority (34%).

Following the initial evaluation of quotes, based on the criteria above, AOB may invite short listed candidates for interview. Interviews may be conducted by phone or Zoom.

Please note that the contract is expected to commence on March 22nd 2021


 7.0 Notes to Tenderers

  • Queries to be submitted via email before March 11th 2021
  • AOB will accept no responsibility for any costs incurred in formulation or presentation of proposals
  • AOB requires that all information pursuant to this tender process will be treated in the strictest confidence
  • All work produced by the appointed service provider(s) will be the property of AOB
  • Prices and terms quoted should be valid for 12 months from the date of receipt of tenders
  • Any conflicts of interest must be fully disclosed to AOB
  • AOB reserves the right to terminate the contract at any time if it feels the work being undertaken by the appointed business is found to be unsatisfactory, without AOB being liable for the full cost
  • All bidders are required to adhere to all appropriate regulations and guidelines on the collection, storage, transmission and destruction of personal data GDPR