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Plans for landmark sculpture to celebrate Hereford’s heritage

A new sculpture to celebrate the engineering expertise and innovation of Herefordshire businesses could take pride of place at the Hereford Enterprise Zone. 

A planning application has been submitted for a modern recreation of the famous Skylon structure to provide a landmark in the heart of Skylon Park. 

The Skylon was a futuristic-looking cigar-shaped steel structure constructed as the centrepiece for the 1951 Festival of Britain. It was manufactured in Hereford by Painter Brothers Ltd, now part of the Balfour Beatty group of companies, and sat next to the River Thames in London beside Festival Hall until it was removed in 1952. 

At 46m high, Skylon Tower will be smaller than the original that measured in at nearly 90m. The current brownfield site where Skylon Tower would be located is on the junction of Straight Mile Road and the B4399 and will become landscaped public open space for Rotherwas workers to walk and cycle to and enjoy. 

If planning permission is granted, a private benefactor would be sought to fund the cost of Skylon Tower. 

Vice chairman of the Hereford Enterprise Zone Neil Kerr, who has spearheaded the campaign for the sculpture, said: “The modern Skylon Tower will provide a high quality, landmark feature, that will be visible from the surrounding transport network and become a focal point to create the branding of Skylon Park – the heart of the Hereford Enterprise Zone.  

“In 1951, the Skylon was a major feat of engineering for its day. Recreating this famous sculpture with today’s technology will pay tribute to our county’s proud engineering heritage and exemplify the modern high tech engineering businesses that we already have and seek to attract to Skylon Park today.”

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