The eagerly-awaited Halo sculpture was officially unveiled yesterday on what was described as a momentous occasion for Gateshead town centre’s £150m redevelopment .
The 27ft high ring made of 330 sections of inflated stainless steel - representing the town’s steel industry history and the cycle of regeneration - was finally in place outside Tesco in Trinity Square and attracting the attention of passers-by.
Created by artist Steve Newby and a team of local welders, and commissioned by developers Spenhill to be a centrepiece of the square,
Halo will be illuminated at night by interior fibre optic lights.
Steve has been working on his biggest ever artwork for the past five years.
He said: “It’s great to see it finally up. It has a real presence in this square and sits so well here. It’s dramatic.”
Trinty Square centre manager Tony Pickering said: “This is a momentous occasion.
“It’s about Gateshead and the people of Gateshead; an industrial creation born, developed and built by locals.
Gateshead Council leader Mick Henry was delighted with the Halo.
He said that while some surrounding shop units still need to be filled, he was pleased with the progress made in tough economic climate.
“I’m excited by it all. The whole project has been with me since 1999 and I’m really pleased it’s on the right tracks though there’s some distance to go,” said Coun Henry.
He added: “I’m convinced it’s gong to be a thriving town centre.”