New artwork celebrates Consett's steelmaking heritage

The new artwork, measuring almost 30ft by 20ft, has been placed at the entrance to Fawcett Park, a new urban recreational area in Consett

An original iron hook, used in steelworks in Consett is lifted into place as part of a new art instillation
An original iron hook, used in steelworks in Consett is lifted into place as part of a new art instillation

A town's steelmaking heritage is being celebrated with a new piece of art.

The structure, measuring almost 30ft by 20ft, has been placed at the entrance to Fawcett Park, a new urban recreational area in Consett, County Durham.

It was transported in sections from Shildon, where it was fabricated by TSB Fabrication, a firm based on the Hackworth Industrial Park.

The pieces were winched in by a crane and positioned on a specially-prepared plinth.

The artwork, developed by Project Genesis and designed by the Auton Design Studio in Hexham, now stands on part of the town’s former steelworks site.

It has been created in an image representing molten steel being poured from a ladle.

At the heart of the structure is the original iron hook which was used at the steelworks to transport molten steel. The hook, weighing in at 1.6 tons, was found and rescued three years ago during clearance work being done by Consett company Absolute Civil Engineering.

The discovery sparked the idea for a permanent public artwork commissioned by Project Genesis, which is managing the development of the £1m urban park.

The piece is the latest in a series of high-profile artworks that have taken up residence in the town.

Last month saw the installation of murals at the entrance to the new Tesco store depicting steelworkers lifting pig iron and the former steelworks’ site in all its glory.

Mark Short, Project Genesis managing director, said: “Project Genesis was set up to bring employment and drive regeneration to what was the former steelworks site.

“At this point only 20% of the land has been developed for commercial, residential and amenity activities.

“Part of the Project Genesis brief is to manage the landscapes and we have set a theme for installing high-profile artworks at strategic locations. We feel it’s important to respect Consett’s industrial past and the latest artworks achieve that wonderfully.”

The official opening of Fawcett Park is scheduled for spring next year.

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