Monday, 18 January 2010

Warplane may be built near M6 in Preston

Published Date:
18 January 2010
A giant £2.5million monument of a plane is set to be built by the side of the M6 in Preston, the Lancashire Evening Post can reveal.
The huge statue – featuring a military aircraft suspended on a plinth – is being lined up as a fitting celebration of Preston's proud aviation industry.

Land close to junction 31a in Fulwood has been earmarked for the iconic statue with landowners at Red Scar approached about possible sites.

The ambitious scheme has already been dubbed Preston's 'Angel of the North' and is being hailed as the most exciting legacy project for the city's Guild in 2012.

Talks are currently underway about the project and is estimated to cost up to £2.5m.

BAE Systems are involved in the talks.

The idea has been roundly welcomed by council chiefs and aviation experts.

Ken Hudson, leader of Preston Council, said the statue could help put Preston on the map like the Angel of the North, an iconic 66ft-tall artwork close to the A1, did for Gateshead.

Coun Hudson said: "It would be something that says, 'This is Preston'.
"If you are coming down the motorway from London or Blackpool and saw that when you got to Red Scar, you would think, 'What a wonderful thing, like the Angel of the North'."

Historian Ron Freethy, who recorded a BBC radio series about aviation in Lancashire, said: "It's about time we had something. Samlesbury and Warton are probably two of the most important sites for aircraft anywhere in the world.

"If you look at the industry now, it's huge. As long as this statue is done right and is prominent enough, it's a brilliant idea."

BAE spokeswoman Alison Ramsay said: "Along with a number of other North West organisations, BAE Systems has been involved in discussions regarding this concept.

"Given our strong association with the North West, this is obviously of interest. However, discussions are at a very early stage and no commitment has been made."

However, Coun John Collins, leader of the Labour group, said: "The concept of a war plane on a huge stick is bad taste.

"I think it is inappropriate, it is a war plane."

Lancashire has been at the forefront of the aerospace industry for around a century, through manufacturers such as BAE and the former Dick, Kerr works on Strand Road, Preston.

The county is estimated to have produced 6,700 aircraft over the last 100 years, including thousands during the First and Second World Wars.

1 comment:

  1. You can read my opinion on this digusting waste of public money here: