Long jump hero to get a statue

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A HUGE statue of ‘a leaping man’ symbolising long jump champion Greg Rutherford’s Olympic success could be built on a city roundabout.

It is hoped the proposed piece of public art, due to be sited on The Fen Street Roundabout, will provide an iconic landmark at the gateway of Milton Keynes.

The statue would be situated on the roundabout on the A421 approaching MK from Junction 13 of the M1.

It would be symbolic of and aiming to celebrate the Olympic success of Woburn Sands resident Rutherford, without being an attempt to create a life like representation of him.

Funding for the project would come from Section 106 money – cash provided by developers and ringfenced for specific uses, in this case public art – from the neighbouring Magna Park development.

The concept revolves around a dynamic stainless steel sculpture ‘that conveys the excitement and energy of Greg Rutherford winning gold’.

It would be two-and-a-half times life size, while two plinths would be separated by the 8.31 metre distance of Rutherford’s winning jump. Another option would see a single 8.31metre plinth used.

The stainless steel would have a matt silver finish which wouldn’t create a strong glare, but when lit at night will create a strong visual impact.

Wavendon Parish Council debated the matter at its meeting on Monday, November 19 and agreed to seek resident’s views.

Chairman of the parish council David Hopkins, who is also the deputy leader on Milton Keynes Council and ward councillor for Danesborough, said the statue would be “an iconic landmark at the gateway to Milton Keynes, symbolic of the success of the city and of one its famous sons and representative of the ‘can do’, winning culture that has come to represent everything that is great about brand MK.”

The parish council also gave its support to plans for a local business to provide the finance for the on-going maintenance and cleaning of the piece if it is constructed so that there would be no future liability upon public funds.

The proposals will now be looked at by Milton Keynes Council planners and highways engineers.

Mr Hopkins added: “It would, of course, be highly ironic if a piece commissioned to symbolise the ‘can do’ attitude of MK were to be scuppered by a ‘can’t do’ response from public officials.”