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Man Of Steel Returns To AMP

posted 21 Aug 2013, 02:21 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 21 Aug 2013, 02:22 ]
The model of what is planned to become a 30 metre high stainless steel sculpture has returned to its birthplace at the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham.

The Man of Steel is the creation of sculptor Steve Mehdi, and the proposed 30 metre sculpture will feature a 20 metre stainless steel figure sat on top of an 18 metre coal-black column, that will house a heritage and education centre. It is planned that on completion the sculpture will overlook the M1 motorway from a site above Meadowbank Road, Rotherham. 

The sculpture has been designed in tribute to the steel and coal industries of South Yorkshire whilst also reflecting the region’s 21st century strengths in advanced manufacturing and metals technology

The project has been assisted by expertise from AMP-based organisations, Performance Engineered Solutions (PES) Ltd and the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).

Before production of the model could begin, Mr Mehdi’s original small sculpture was scanned to create a three-dimensional model, which was then turned into a computer programme that the AMRC Composite Centre’s five-axis machining centre needed to cut the polyurethane resin board for the model. The material is normally used for creating prototypes and models of automotive and aerospace structures, and the material’s properties and accurate machining centre enabled the model to be manufactured to the precise shape required. Finally the assembled model was given a stainless metal coating, before being mounted on a two metre column.

Mr Mehdi says; “The Man of Steel project honours the past and embraces the future, bringing together the heritage of the old industries and signposting the new technologies of the region. 

“These world-leading developments in advanced manufacturing and materials are led by the organisations on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) and I am delighted that both the AMRC and PES are supporting the project, and have used their expertise to create this version of the Man of Steel.”

Simon Spode, marketing manager at the AMP adds; “We are pleased to have this model back at the AMP, both to support the Man of Steel project and to showcase the fantastic technical knowledge and capability that we have here at the Park.

“There are similarities between the AMP and the Man of Steel project in that both will have reach and benefit outside their immediate geographical areas. The AMP is an asset locally, regionally and nationally, and similarly the sculpture is set to become an icon for the whole Yorkshire region; providing a gateway to the county in the same way that the Angel of the North is seen as the gateway to the North-East.”

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council has shown their support to the Man of Steel project, and Councillor Gerald Smith, Cabinet Member for Regeneration & Development was on hand to welcome the sculpture back to Rotherham.

Cllr Smith comments; "We believe that project will provide a striking piece of contemporary public art and a real landmark sat at the heart of the area’s great traditional industries of coal and steel. It is also important that the sculpture will be made using local materials and locally developed manufacturing processes, showcasing the region’s current and future industrial capabilities.

“It is also good to see so many private sector partners coming forward to support the project and it’s looking positive that the cost of the project will be met by private contributions and funding from bodies such as good causes distributor the Big Lottery Fund and the Arts Council.” 

A recently published independent report on the financial benefits the Man of Steel would bring to the region, conservatively estimated that the icon could generate in access of £9m per year to the local economy. This report has given the Man of Steel an additional boost in support since the conclusions from the report were made public.

The model of the Man of Steel will be on display in the reception of the AMP Technology Centre from 8.30am – 5pm, Monday – Friday, until Friday 30th August.