09th Oct 2008 - Ravenscraig becomes a work of art
One of the largest public art installations in Scotland has been unveiled in the heart of the ambitious redevelopment of Ravenscraig in Lanarkshire.
The huge Big r project covers a massive 5000 sq m - about the size of 10 football pitches - on the site of the forthcoming Ravenscraig town centre.
The project depicts Ravenscraig's corporate r logo using 2000 tonnes of red aggregate from Cloburn Quarry in Lanark to mark out the image. The aggregate will subsequently be used in a later construction phase.
The Big r will play a significant role in reinforcing the Ravenscraig brand, being large enough to be seen from the air. The art installation is directly under the London to Glasgow flight path and will be seen by visitors flying to Scotland from the South.
The project is part of an ongoing programme of public art incorporated into the Ravenscraig development and follows the successful Imagine Ravenscraig event which saw over 30 budding young architects from Motherwell and Wishaw create their visions of how the rejuvenated Ravenscraig could look in the future.
Ravenscraig Ltd is leading the regeneration of the former steelworks site and has helped form the Ravenscraig Arts Initiative with financial assistance from Scottish Enterprise and North Lanarkshire Partnership.
Murray Collins, Planning and Development Manager of Capella Group, which is managing the Ravenscraig project on behalf of Ravenscraig Ltd, said: "The popularity of web-based satellite maps such as Google Earth has led to the growing phenomena of ‘earth art' like the Big r.
"As well as demonstrating the ambition and confidence behind the redevelopment of the site, this project serves a serious purpose in signposting potential investors and partners towards Ravenscraig.
"There is nothing else like this in Scotland, which reflects the unique nature of the entire Ravenscraig initiative."
Once completed, the new town centre for Ravenscraig will feature around 1 million sq ft of retail, leisure, restaurant and community facilities in a modern, attractive centre. Around 1500 housing units and 500,000 sq ft of commercial space will also be created.
Ravenscraig is one of the most ambitious regeneration projects ever seen in Scotland and one of the largest in Europe.
Once completed, Ravenscraig will be home to over 10,000 people, is expected to create 12,000 jobs and attract in excess of £1.2 billion of private sector investment over the next 15 to 20 years.
Work is already well under way on the £200 million first phase of the redevelopment of the 1,100 acre site, with a £30 million regional sports facility, a £70 million campus for Motherwell College and 850 new houses now under construction.
Plans have also just been unveiled for the £600 million second phase of the development, which will create a new town centre for Ravenscraig.
The town centre will feature around 1 million sq ft of retail, leisure, restaurant and community facilities in a modern, attractive centre. Around 1500 housing units and 500,000 sq ft of commercial space will also be created.
It will be served by a new railway station, a bus interchange, and have substantial car parking with dual carriageway access from both M8 and M74.