Steel sculpture celebrating former Northampton factory approved

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A 3.5 metre-high steel sculpture and seating area is to be built to mark the influence of British Timken on Northampton.

The artwork will be located on an existing verge near the junction of Tollgate Way and Main Road in Duston, near the former works site, which closed in 2001.

It would depict a huge steel bearing ring and a tree. Inserted into the sculpture will be 28 panels depicting photographs of people working at Timken, special occasions and Duston communities at the annual British Timken show.

A report by planning officials, which recommends that councillors approve the artwork, says: “The public art project will allow Duston’s existing and new communities to celebrate its historical connection with British Timken and create a meaningful symbol for Duston.”

Around the base of the sculpture plants will aim to add colour, predominantly the orange of British Timken.

The plan has come out of the original consent agreement, which was granted in 2007 on the proviso that any developer pays towards public art.

Tim Ward, the commissioned artist, worked with the local community over the look and consultation took place, including public day exhibitions.

The report says: “The exercise has been aimed at sharing knowledge of the heritage of the area and promoting a sense of ownership of the artwork.”

Any installation must begin within three years.


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