Monday, April 27, 2015

News: Heart of Steel for Rotherham town centre


A two metre high "Heart of Steel" is set to be installed in Minster Gardens in Rotherham town centre - "a symbol of love that local people have for their town."

The artwork is linked to the Man of Steel project - the iconic piece of art designed to be a landmark gateway sculpture close to the M1 that will recognise the history of steel and coal in the region, and preside over a new age of technology and specialised steel production.

The Heart of Steel is set to be on show at the popular pocket park on Corporation Street, next to Rotherham Minster. It comes after several trees in the area were removed at the request of South Yorkshire Police.

Sitting on a concrete plinth, the planned artwork is set to measure 2.2m high by 2m wide and be illuminated. Expected to be made of stainless steel, the replica will be the only other Heart of Steel created.

The planning application states: "Rotherham is a town with a big heart and the "Heart of Steel" sculpture will represent the "heart" of the community. It will be a symbol of the love people have for their town. It will also be a direct link to the Man of Steel sculpture."

Planning permission was granted conditionally in 2012 for the 27.3m high Man of Steel art installation, based on work by local sculptor Steve Mehdi, on a former land fill site at Kimberworth in Rotherham.

A not-for-profit charitable company, Yorkshire Icon Limited, has been created which will work with the Rotherham Council, stakeholder partners, and other trustees to manage the project and deliver a lasting legacy that includes education and apprenticeships.

The Man of Steel is to have his own Heart of Steel, a 2.5 tonne sculpture, made from super alloys and containing up to 150,000 names of individuals from across the region. Partners have recently linked up with the British Heart Foundation (BHF), the nation's heart charity and the largest independent funder of cardiovascular research.

Until now the landmark project has been supported entirely by the private sector, but the new initiative allows for donations from members of the public which enables their names, or names of loved ones, to be on the heart of steel.

Rotherham was one of the first 50 towns in the UK to sign up as a BHF Heart Town as part of the initiative to bring entire communities together through local fundraising and volunteering to help beat heart disease.
In 2011, Rotherham became Gallery Town when a group of local entrepreneurs got together to arrange for 60 large pieces of artwork – including work by Rotherham students, local artists and some of the world's greatest painters – installed in key outdoor locations around the town. The aim of Gallery Town is to help regenerate Rotherham town centre and increase the number of visitors.

Steve Mehdi recently joined the Gallery Town project. The artist said: "I was invited to join Gallery Town by its founder, Nick Cragg. His passion for art and culture, combined with a philanthropic flair has been used to great effect by creating Gallery Town and bringing art to the masses, as well as getting them to produce their own."

It is hoped that the Heart of Steel will be installed in the town centre this summer. A date for installing the Man of Steel has not been set.

Mehdi added: "Ultimately the Yorkshire Man of Steel is about the sons and daughters of Rotherham; past, present and future. It's also about the wider region, its heritage of steel and coal and perhaps more importantly it's about the recent advances in the new technology sector.

"The Yorkshire Man of Steel will become a destination for visitors, adding significant economic and cultural capital to the region."

Man of Steel website
Gallery Town website

Images: / RMBC


Anonymous,  April 27, 2015 at 10:53 AM  

Heartwarming story

Unknown April 27, 2015 at 11:33 AM  

A heart to show the love of the town what a load of rubbish with all whats gone off in the town.Shops closing pubs shutting and the grooming of children i cant see this making a blind bit of difference to the town.Personally i cant wait till i emigrate to pastures new

Anonymous,  April 27, 2015 at 4:09 PM  

answer to that mark taylor is goodbye Rotherham still has a lot to offer never mind what has happened

yorkshirerose April 27, 2015 at 5:44 PM  

Please don't let any of the Rotherham councillors get too involved in this project as most of the people of Rotherham do not trust any of them.

yorkshirerose April 27, 2015 at 5:51 PM  

I agree with mark, and so do a lot of people in Rotherham, its a shame but as he says with all that as gone off in Rotherham,there does not seem to be anything done about, yes they fetched these big nibs in at a cost of i don't know how much and whats happened nothing that we can see...

Anonymous,  April 28, 2015 at 1:59 PM  

Let us look forward and welcome all that promotes Rotherham in a good light. This will be a wonderful addition to the Town Centre, something positive. We need to work together for the good of Rotherham, all of us.

Anonymous,  April 30, 2015 at 11:30 AM  

If people think Rotheham a dump, treat it like a dump, it will be a dump. Fortunatley there are people like mr.Hamby with a bit of vision who arn't dwelling on the miseries of the past.

Anonymous,  May 16, 2015 at 10:52 AM  

I signed up to have our family names on the heart of steel, because I come from generations of good people who worked in steel and coal. Also because my family and the people from times gone by had grit and character, just like the industries that came from this region. I think we have to look to the strength in the human spirit during hard times and though it saddens me that Rotherham seems to now be the ashtray of the world and not the place it was, I hold hope that the people will shine through in the end.

Sheila,  June 16, 2015 at 5:00 PM  

My daughter signed to have her dad's name put on the heart of steel, as my husband died of cancer 14 years ago this pleased me very much as he did work in the steel industry. Please people do not give up on Rotherham, my husband never would, it was a terrible thing that happened, lessons have to be learned so we can build a better future.

rotherham girl,  July 8, 2015 at 8:28 PM  

my father worked in the steelworks all his life and I am proud to have added his name

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