Huge sculptures idea for Felixstowe

FELIXSTOWE already has more sun than most places in Britain - and now it is set to shine come rain or snow.Visitors to the resort are to be welcomed in the future by the sight of huge golden sun rays sticking out above trees ahead on the A14.

FELIXSTOWE already has more sun than most places in Britain - and now it is set to shine come rain or snow.

Visitors to the resort are to be welcomed in the future by the sight of huge golden sun rays sticking out above trees ahead on the A14.

Three times bigger than the Angel of the North, the sculpture could be as high as the 210ft Trimley water tower, and the rays may electronically rise up and down with the movement of the real sun.

It is one of three landmark projects set to smarten up dull areas of the town with massive colourful and creative sculptures reflecting its role as a resort, port and former military stronghold.

The three-part art scheme, which could cost between £150,000 and £200,000, is part of a regional project to improve the entry points to the country and give a better impression and welcome to visitors.

In Felixstowe, the edge of the town A14 dock spur roundabout, Cavendish Park interchange, and Dock Gate One roundabout will all see huge pieces of public art, according to the Highways Agency.

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Town councillors have welcomed the project and indicated they would be willing to contribute towards the cost.

The Highways Agency and their agents Atkins have drawn up the ideas for areas where visitors join the A14 to improve the look of the road and create “gateways” or “markers” on the road network.

Town clerk Susan Robinson said: “This scheme recognises Felixstowe as a major port and brings about an idea which the town council has been looking at in a general way for many years.

“Now it is as if our fairy godmother has arrived in the form of Atkins and the Highways Agency to put the scheme in place.

“The council is delighted and is looking forward to discussing the detailed designs with them.”

Community leaders stressed they are keen the landmark sun rays do not hinder the already agreed safety alterations project at Felixstowe's dock spur roundabout.

Traffic lights will be installed when Felixstowe port expands, but plans committee chairman Andy Smith said all options needed to be kept open on the redesign of the junction, including possibility of a flyover.

He said: “It would be awful if this new landmark was put in and then had to be taken out or changed because it was in the way of the safety scheme, which must be the priority - we need to look at that aspect carefully.”

Mayor Ann Rodwell said: “Some people will say why can we not use this money for work at the dock spur, but the dock spur will be done when the port expands.”

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www.highways.gov.uk

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Did you Know?'

SIMILAR schemes have already been put in place at other major airports and ports around the country, such as B of the Bang in Manchester and Sails of the South at Portsmouth, and in Europe, the Tour de France sculpture.

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