THE ARCHITECT behind a proposed 40ft sculpture which will overlook Sheffield said today the project would not be a burden on the taxpayer.
Steve Mehdi will unveil plans for his Steel Man sculpture - a giant sitting man which will perch on a hill between Rotherham and Sheffield - later this week.
Mr Mehdi said he hoped to get reaction from members of the public in Kimberworth, Rotherham, before the council makes its final decision.
The plans will also be made available on the Rotherham Council website later this week.
Mr Mehdi said so far there had been ‘mixed reactions’. He said: “It’s inevitable when you’re doing anything like this there’s going to be a fairly large public profile and there are going to be people for and against it. We’ve had tremendous support up to now.”
The £2.7 million needed for the project will come from the private sector.
“We’re creating something that is private sector-led so it’s not a burden on the taxpayer. “We want to deliver something which gives people a feel-good feeling.”
The project will be completed in three phases by 2015.
The first will ensure the Steel Man is built, the second will create an observation deck for visitors and the third will see the creation of a visitors’ centre.
The project is involving as many companies and experts from the Sheffield region as possible and includes Axis architects, Mott MacDonald civil engineers, Tata Steel and both universities.
Mr Mehdi said: “I see it as a landmark icon that will engage with the community and become a catalyst for the new technology sector. “Man of Steel is an icon of the future and not a monument to the past.”
He is also planning to set up a charitable trust to ensure the sculpture’s long term maintenance.