Man of Steel takes a step forward in £2.8m project

Man of Steel, by Steve Mehdi
Man of Steel, by Steve Mehdi
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THE Man of Steel has taken another step forward.

Plans were submitted this week for a stainless steel statue twice the height of the Angel of the North to overlook Rotherham, the M1, Meadowhall and the east end of Sheffield.

The 20 metre statue on a 20 metre coal-black column, designed by Grindleford-based Steve Mehdi, is earmarked for a former landfill site in Kimberworth.

Although it would reflect the area’s steel and coal heritage, it is intended to be a signpost to a future based on industry, science and engineering.

The estimated cost of the structure and creating an access is £2.7m, which Mr Mehdi said would be financed primarily by the private sector. Applications for grants, such as from Government development funds and the lottery, would be made if there was a shortfall.

A planning application has now been made to Rotherham Council.

“All the indications are that it will happen,” said Mr Mehdi. “We are confident we can deliver it by 2015. There is a lot of money to be raised, but there is also a lot of support and it is growing every day.

“The project is about creating a landmark that the community can be proud of, enthusing a new generation about new technology and science and regenerating the region.”

A two metre version of the Man of Steel is being made by the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre at Catcliffe, and it will go on show at an exhibition at the Magna Science and Adventure Centre as part of an education and community programme.

In later stages, it is intended visitors will be able to go into the black column of the 40 metre structure, climb to the fourth floor and see panoramic views across Sheffield and Rotherham. There are also plans for a visitor centre and to create a charitable trust to help finance projects in line with the ambitions of the project.

Mr Mehdi said key supporters included FCC Environmental, which was donating the land for the structure, Tata Steel, engineering and development consultancy Mott MacDonald, architects Axis and the AMRC.

The project is separate from one involving Sheffield Council and power company E.On which aims to create a sculpture or series of sculptures in the east end to help compensate for the loss of the Tinsley twin cooling towers.

E.On has offered £500,000, although no artist or design has yet been chosen.