A spectacular bumble bee and dandelion sculpture, commissioned by Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council is beginning to take shape.
Internationally renowned sculptor Andy Edwards, is creating the 12ft high sculpture with the help of apprentices from PM Training.
North Staffordshire-born Andy - famous for The Beatles at the Waterfront statue in Liverpool, and the Christmas Truce statue in Belgium – said: “The bee sculpture, which will have a 14ft wingspan, fits with this year’s Britain in Bloom theme ‘ Supporting Newcastle’s Bloomin’ Wildlife’. It will help to educate people about the importance of bees and their place in the ecosystem.
“This is the third sculpture project we have worked on for the Borough Council. Each has a message about nature and how wildlife is being reintroduced into the borough.”
The Borough Council has won 15 consecutive gold medals in the Britain in Bloom regional competition. Due to this successful run, the borough is not only entering the 2017 regional competition, but also taking part in the national contest, representing the ‘Heart of England’ in the small city category.
The bee is made from two millimetre thick mild steel which will be galvanised before installation.
Phil Brown, Artworks manager at PM Training, said: “To me and Andy, these projects are important because of the skills we share with the young people.
“There are two apprentices working on the bee sculpture, and they get the experience needed to move into jobs and careers in engineering.
“Projects like the bee will be there for a very long time, it is something to be proud of, and it will become a focal point in the town.”
Apprentice Liam Robinson, aged 16, from Tunstall, said: “I joined PM Training three months ago and I never imagined I would be working on something like this.
“Working with Andy and Phil is fantastic, we’re a real team. I’ve created part of the bee’s head myself and it’s great to be able to say that.”