Friday, August 24, 2018

News: Heart of Steel on show

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The Heart of Steel sculpture is on display at Meadowhall Shopping Centre in Sheffield to raise awareness, and funds, as part of the wider Steel Man project.

The 32 metre stainless steel sculpture will stand on a former landfill site overlooking the M1 between Rotherham and Sheffield. Plans were approved conditionally in 2012 for the art installation based on work by local sculptor Steve Mehdi at Kimberworth in Rotherham.

The 2.4 metre Heart of Steel draws on the long heritage of the region's diverse communities who spent their working lives to create materials and products sold around the world. As an integral part of The Steel Man, the Heart of Steel also highlights the new technologies and specialised manufacturing that has redefined South Yorkshire and the growth of the advanced manufacturing sector.

Based on Mehdi's designs, the heart has been created with the support of three local companies, Maher Ltd, Doncasters Group Ltd, and Pryor Marking Technology.

Weighing 1,138kg, the heart is made from Inconel, a super alloy normally seen in high performance engine parts used in the aerospace industry and Formula One. It will eventually hold 150,000 names, before being included inside the eagerly awaited Steel Man.

The sculpture echoes the heart of steel placed in Minster Gardens in Rotherham town centre.

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In aid of the British Heart Foundation, donations will help The Steel Man team in its ambition to create its icon for the Yorkshire region and fund life-saving research into heart and circulatory diseases, such as coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes and vascular dementia, which currently kills one in four people in the UK.

Steve Mehdi, himself a former steelworker, said: "The Heart of Steel possesses an emotional strand that reaches across many generations. I have been deeply touched by the people who have donated so far and the stories they have shared. My thanks must go to the companies that have supported the project, the BHF for their tremendous vision, and the tireless effort of countless people who have made the Heart of Steel what it is.

"I would also like to add a special thanks to Darren Pearce and his Meadowhall team for their unflagging enthusiasm to see the Heart of Steel and The Steel Man installed in Yorkshire's premier shopping centre. It has been a long-held ambition to see these two sculptures in this amazing space and we look forward to sharing our vision with its visitors."

The sculpture is on display near to H. Samuel along with a scaled version of the Steel Man sculpture.

A not-for-profit charitable company, Yorkshire Icon Limited, is pioneering the plans. £4.2m is required to deliver this new landmark for Yorkshire, with a number of high profile companies backing the programme with materials, expertise and financial contributions.

The Heritage Lottery Fund also recognise the importance of the project and are financially supporting the building of a £1m Interpretation Hub which will sit alongside the sculpture. Planning permission for the hub has been approved.

Steel Man website

Images: Steel Man / Meadowhall

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