News Archive

New Bridge and Sculptures enhance Worcester ‘Gateway’ retail scheme

Major engineering operations were mounted in Worcester to install a new canal bridge and two commissioned sculptures at St Modwen Developments’ £16 million Shrub Hill Retail Park.

Two 70-tonne cranes dual-lifting precast concrete bridge arch panels into position spanning the Birmingham & Worcester Canal to replace the original 1936 humped-back bridge which was removed in the summer.

The £1.75 million replacement flat bridge, which provides a new ‘gateway’ road into the city from the east, completes a significant highway improvement that was proposed in the Worcester Local Plan.

Simultaneously, at the other end of the 8.65 acre retail park the specially commissioned five metre (16 foot) high stainless steel sculpture, Needle Point, was hoisted into place to become a landmark at the entrance of the park adjacent to Shrub Hill Rail Station.

A second similar sized sculpture, Ducks, also designed by Bristol-based artist Paul Juillerat, and which together with Needle Point had been transported under police escort from the dockside in Bristol, was placed alongside the canal.

Nick Kay, development surveyor in charge of the Shrub Hill Retail Park project for St Modwen, said: “This is a very important stage in the development of the park, The bridge provides a fine new route into Worcester and the sculptures are features which significantly enhance a previously run-down area of the city which we are regenerating .

“We anticipate the sculptures becoming a big attraction for visitors when the retail park opens before Christmas.”

Needle Point was designed to reflect the surrounding cityscape, to create a pinnacle focus and to use the ‘eye of the needle’ to echo Worcester’s connection with the glove industry and mirror the needle spire of a nearby church.

Ducks is described by the artist as ‘slightly tongue in cheek’. It features three stainless steel ducks in an engraved pattern and stands on a painted plinth on the opposite side of the canal to a nature area where ducks nest. At night the sculpture will be illuminated casting the ‘ducks’ shadow on the wall of Staples store.

For further information contact Steve Burke of St Modwen Developments (0121-456-2800).

Issued by Paul Raymer of Howle Chapman Raymer (0121-236-7771)