This is why some of the giant shoe sculptures in Northampton town centre have been removed

Colourful pieces of public art have been removed for redecorating and will return, says council

Thursday, 16th September 2021, 4:41 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th September 2021, 4:42 pm
The shoe sculptures on St Giles Street (left) and outside Northampton train station (right).

Some of the giant shoe sculptures in Northampton town centre have been removed for redecorating and will return, potentially in new locations.

The green and red boot on St Giles Street and the black and red Chelsea boot outside the train station have been taken away by West Northamptonshire Council for a bit of TLC over the past year.

West Northamptonshire Council cabinet member for housing, culture and leisure, Adam Brown said the fibre glass statues will be reintroduced 'as we identify suitable locations'.

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The other sculptures, including inside Grosvenor Shopping Northampton, Northgate Bus Station and Sol Central, remain in place.

Councillor Brown said: “We have gradually removed some of the shoe sculptures from Northampton’s streets over the past year so they can be cleaned and refreshed.

“We’re planning to start reintroducing them as we identify suitable locations, though three remain on display at Sol Northampton, Northgate Bus Station and the Grosvenor Centre.”

Twelve shoe sculptures were commissioned by Northampton Borough Council as part of the #CelebrateNorthampton campaign and initially installed in July 2019.

Two stilettos and a Doc Martens shoe were placed in Market Square, Guildhall Road and Abington Street but had to be removed three months later after being vandalised.

Having been redecorated, the statues on St Giles Street, outside the train station and in Sol Central were re-installed in January last year.

A Chronicle & Echo Freedom of Information request revealed the shoes, which cost £42,000 to produce, were part funded by the council to the sum of £34,272, with the rest from sponsors.

Businesses sponsors include Jeffery West, Steffan’s Jewellers, Grosvenor Shopping, Starbucks, University of Northampton, Royal & Derngate theatres and Destination Nene Valley.

The sculptures were designed and created by Noel Blakeman to represent shoes from Northampton's heritage.