Tuesday, May 16, 2023

News: What's happening with The Steel Man sculpture?


A new challenge has begun for the "Man of Steel" - the proposed landmark sculpture in Rotherham, overlooking Sheffield's Lower Don Valley.

More than a decade ago, designs for a 32 metre stainless steel sculpture were created that was set to stand on a former landfill site overlooking the M1 between Rotherham and Sheffield. Plans were originally approved conditionally in 2012 for the art installation based on work by local sculptor Steve Mehdi.

With slow progress being made since plans were resubmitted in 2015 alongside proposals for an Interpretation Hub forming part of the project in 2017, an update shows that work is still being carried out with a new 4.5 metre replica model of the sculpture now under construction.

The update reads: "We are delighted to announce the beginning of a new era as we push forward with our plans to bring the Steel Man to life. Last year we began working with an international collaboration of design engineers to develop the fabrication design of the Steel Man. We then reached out to Outokumpu, one of our biggest sponsors, to supply all the stainless steel required to build a new 4.5 metre model of the sculpture. This is now being built by another of our sponsors, NEC Ltd in Bradwell, Derbyshire. The build will take 3-4 months and we can’t wait to let you know when its ready!"

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

A previous update said: "Funding an ambitious project of this scale has always been a huge challenge, and the impact of Brexit and COVID 19, along with other local economic challenges, has disrupted our plans and delayed progress. The team has worked hard to push through these challenges, and they recognise many hurdles still remain. Traditional funding routes under the current climate remain beyond our grasp. So, to harness the support we already have, we are preparing a global crowd funding campaign starting this Year. More about it will be announced in the coming months."

Originally conceived as a scaled up stainless cast version of Mehdi's sculpture, the Man of Steel has been radically redesigned, and will be fabricated from precision engineered stainless steel panels supplied from Outokumpu Stainless Distribution (UK), from Sheffield.

In addition, a 20 metre observation tower, supporting the 20 metre stainless steel sculpture is set to include a viewing deck, which will provide "elevated panoramic views across the region and interpretive technology which will focus on the heritage of steel and coal, as well as promoting the new technology sector helping to transform the region's future."

When plans were submitted, The Heritage Lottery Fund were committed to financially supporting the building of a £1m Interpretation Hub. Plans showed that the building would be sited to the west of the existing vehicular access onto Meadowbank Road at the bottom of the hill, with The Steel Man sculpture at the top of the hill. Plans showed areas for exhibitions, learning and activities associated with sculpture along with a canteen, staff room, shop and outdoor play space.

A full scale replica heart was gifted to the town and is on display in Rotherham town centre. A similar sculpture was reproduced to help raise funds for the British Heart Foundation. With space to engrave 150,000 names, the Heart of Steel at Meadowhall shopping centre is eventually due to be included inside the 32-metre Steel Man.

The Steel Man website

Images: Yorkshire Icon Ltd: / NEC Ltd / Axis Architecture


Anonymous,  May 16, 2023 at 1:43 PM  

Don't worry about it, it will be know as Sheffield's man of steel anyhow, Rotherham won't get a mention!

Anonymous,  May 17, 2023 at 3:42 PM  

Hope that visual isn't going to be what it finally looks like. It appears as if he has a massive steel erection!

Anonymous,  May 17, 2023 at 5:24 PM  

It is designed to go limp when the weather turns cold

Anonymous,  May 18, 2023 at 12:13 AM  

I think we have to face the reality that, like Sheffield Wednesday, this statue is not going up.

Anonymous,  May 18, 2023 at 9:52 AM  

He doesn't look very cold in the picture!

Anonymous,  May 18, 2023 at 11:20 AM  

Standing proud!

Anonymous,  June 12, 2023 at 10:39 AM  

What an eyesore

Daveytwotz June 27, 2023 at 9:26 PM  

I like it. Wasn’t there nearly 3million £ saved.

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