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Hare sculpture

Hare Sculpture is Ear (Including Video)

A hare in full flight is the latest animal to take up residence on a roundabout in Newcastle town centre.

The Borough Council has unveiled an eye-catching piece of public art on the Friars Street traffic circle – opposite the Vue cinema – ahead of judging day in the illustrious “Champion of Champions” category of the national UK Bloom finals.

The metal sculpture, which is 9ft tall and weighs more than 360kg, has been designed by internationally renowned sculptor Andy Edwards and made by engineering apprentices from social enterprise PM Training using more than 7,500 pieces of mostly recycled steel.

Liam Robinson, 18, and Luke Steadman, 17, worked with Phil Brown, PM Training’s Artworks Manager, to work out a feasible construction method to bring Andy’s initial sketches to life. It took the team approximately three months to complete the project.

The hare will be surrounded by new landscaping – traditional floral bedding displays are being replaced by permanent, bee-friendly herbaceous perennials. It was installed earlier today (Monday, 9 July) and planting is set to take place later this month.

The initiative, part of a programme to enhance roundabouts with sculptures of indigenous animals and plants, is sponsored by Newcastle Business Improvement District, Derek Mawby Surfacing and A1 Mini Skips Ltd. Further contributions come from planning agreements.

Cllr. Mark Holland, Cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: “This is Newcastle’s biggest ever year in Britain in Bloom – last year we achieved gold awards, an accolade for horticultural excellence and two silver gilts for park category entries on top of being announced overall winners both regionally and nationally.

“The hare will be seen by regional and national judges alongside the brown trout, buzzard and bee and dandelion which are all very popular and catch people’s attention. It’s fantastic that local businesses have helped to fund it – it shows they appreciate the benefits of an attractive town centre. The scheme hasn’t cost taxpayers a single penny extra.

“Britain in Bloom is all about promoting and encouraging economic development by creating a pleasant environment for residents, shoppers and visitors. I also welcome the opportunity for young apprentices to develop their skills.”

The Council joins more than 1,500 employers who support PM Training as the county’s largest provider of apprenticeships. It has training centres in Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme. For more information, visit  

Will Nixon, Managing Director of PM Training and Deputy Group Chief Executive of Aspire Housing, said: “We were delighted to be asked to build another eye-catching sculpture for display in the town centre. Andy and Phil, with the help of our two apprentices Liam and Luke, have done a magnificent job. The hare sculpture is a great addition to the wealth of creativity already showcased in our beautiful town, and it will be a huge source of pride for the apprentices who worked so hard on it.”

Newcastle in Bloom also competes in the small city category of Heart of England in Bloom this year.

Pictured left to right are engineering apprentices Liam Robinson, 18, and Luke Steadman, 17, from PM Training with the metal hare sculpture.

Please see the video below.

Last updated 9 July 2018