The Sculpture will be housed inside a plinth and at set times each day the 'automaton' will emerge from the plinth, dramatically gushing steam and clanking into life
It's full steam ahead for a giant automated sculpture celebrating Stockton’s rich railway heritage.
The Stockton Flyer - inspired by George Stephenson’s Locomotion No 1 - has been given the green light to be built on Stockton high street.
The sculpture will be housed inside a plinth at the northern end of High Street and at set times each day the ‘automaton’ will emerge from the plinth, dramatically gushing steam and clanking into life.
When fully extended, the plinth and sculpture will tower more than seven metres high. The sculpture, which was given approval by Stockton Council’s planning committee this week, has been designed by artists Rob Higgs and Keith Newstead.
Stockton Council’s Cabinet member for arts, leisure and culture, Councillor Ken Dixon said: “The Stockton flyer will become a fantastic feature of the regenerated multi-million-pound high street.
“Artistic attractions like the flyer not only improve the look and feel of Stockton but attract visitors to the town.
“Inspired by George Stephenson’s Locomotion Number One, the automaton will both celebrate the borough’s engineering achievements and remind us of Stockton’s rich industrial heritage.”
No costing has been given by the council for the automaton.
But Cllr Dixon said: “We are currently working on the cost and we will be seeking external funding to contribute towards this.”
He added: “In preparing the planning application we have been working up the design of the automaton and plinth so as many people as possible will be able to easily see the fascinating, daily spectacle of the artwork as it rises.”
The winning automaton design is a cartoon version of the Locomotion No 1, the first train on the world’s first modern passenger railway - the Stockton and Darlington.