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Huge Coppice sculpture plan could be revived

PLANS to build a huge sculpture at the top of the Coppice have been revived by Hyndburn councillors.

PLANS to build a huge sculpture at the top of the Coppice have been revived by Hyndburn councillors.

Members said they would continue to look into the idea of erecting some sort of monument on the hill - despite the original proposals being shelved earlier this year.

The Lancashire Environmental Arts Network and Mid-Pennine Arts asked artists to come up with ideas for six panopticons across East Lancashire, and those suggested for the Coppice included a Hollywood-style sign and a flying saucer.

The flying saucer was eventually chosen as the winning design for the town, but after residents voted overwhelmingly against it in an Observer telephone poll, council leader Peter Britcliffe said the plan was "dead in the water".

However, during a council meeting last week members pledged to continue working with Mid-Pennine Arts to look closely at alternative ideas for the site.

Councillor Jean Battle, leader of the opposition Labour group, said that a sculpture on the Coppice could bring as many benefits to the area as the Angel of the North monument did to Gateshead.

She said: "When I first saw the plans in the summer, I thought it was a bit of a joke. But now I don't think it is as daft as it sounds.

"If it encourages people into the borough then I really do think we should look at it seriously this time and not make fun of it."

Councillor Ian Ormerod agreed, saying: "Without arts, then the whole fabric of society would be much poorer and I think we have missed an opportunity.

"We have to be radical and forward-looking. We have to be creative and think not just for ourselves but for future generations."

Councillor Britcliffe said: "We have agreed to see whether there is anything we can put up there - it is about getting the balance right and creating something worthwhile without turning the borough into a laughing stock."


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