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CHC commence with constructing 'Dream'

18 Mar 2008

Cheetham Hill Construction has just begun constructing "Dream" a spectacular 20m high sculpture by internationally renowned artist Jaume Plensa.

"Dream", which is individually fabricated in 90 unique panels of pre-cast concrete and takes the form of a girl"s head with her eyes closed, seemingly in a dream-like state is being brought in sections to the site on top of the former Sutton Manor Colliery, located close to Junction 7 of the M62.

The construction of this new sculpture, commissioned by St.Helens Council, commenced when the first pieces arrived on site last week, with CHC working closely with engineers ARUP and public art commissioning agency Liverpool Biennial. This follows four months of construction works, which included formation of an access road to facilitate the transportation of heavy construction plant, materials and sculpture units to the top of the colliery spoil heap.

The sculpture will be founded upon seven concrete piles bored through the colliery spoil heap to a depth of 38m. The base of the sculpture will be bolted upon an in-situ concrete pile cap, which consists of nearly 100m3 of concrete. The 54 sculpture units of the head will be bolted together both horizontally and vertically to form a structural unit, which is designed to withstand the high winds present on a site of this exposed nature.

The work is intended to become a gateway feature for both Merseyside and Greater Manchester at the heart of the Northwest and symbolise the remarkable regeneration of St.Helens and the region as a whole. It will be publicly launched in late May, subject to project progress, to coincide with the broadcast of a major new television series on Channel 4 called "The Big Art Project".

David Ives, CHC"s "Dream" Project Manager said: "This has been both a unique and exciting project for Cheetham Hill Construction Ltd as a principal contractor to be involved with. Now the enabling and foundation works are finished and the construction process has begun on site it is great to see the sculpture now starting to take shape. When completed it will be a new landmark for the region."

Cllr. Brian Spencer, the Leader of St.Helens Council and who formerly worked down Sutton Manor Colliery said: "It will be an incredible sight to witness the birth of this amazing new artwork, which will put St.Helens on the map and provide a landmark sense of welcome and arrival for the region as a whole for generations to come. This transformation is particularly poignant given the history of the site itself. This unprecedented project just goes to show that hopes and dreams really can come true, and in spectacular fashion, when we all work together with a shared vision towards a common goal".

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