Target is reached for steel memorial

A donation of �20,000 from the Community union was one of the largest contributions to the memorial fund.
A donation of �20,000 from the Community union was one of the largest contributions to the memorial fund.

A memorial to commemorate thousands who died working in the Scottish iron and steel industry will be unveiled later this year.

The Scottish Steelworkers’ Memorial Fund launched three years ago and co-ordinated by the Supercounty civic pride campaign has now reached its estimated £200,000 target figure.

And the memorial, being created by the renowned Scottish sculptor Andy Scott, is now likely to be unveiled on the site of the former Ravenscraig steel plant in May or June.

Memorial Fund chairman Terry Currie and trustee Tommy Brennan, former shop stewards’ convener at the ’Craig, were impressed when they viewed the steel sculpture in Andy Scott’s Glasgow studio.

Scott has gained a global reputation for many of his creations, including ‘The Kelpies’ which have won numerous awards and attracted almost 900,000 visitors to the Falkirk area since their launch.

Terry Currie said: “I’m really delighted to have seen the progress that’s been made – it’s a formidable working structure and I believe it will turn out to be the fitting tribute we all hoped to see.

“I realise that there’s still a fair bit of work to be done on it, but we’re optimistic that we will be able to officially unveil the sculpture outside the Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility in late May/June.”

Tommy Brennan added: “I see a major difference emerging, and I’ve no doubt it will reach the standard that Andy Scott now displays- and enjoys - all over the world.

“I’m sure that the people of Lanarkshire – and Scotland – will be proud of this once it’s installed on the Ravenscraig site: Andy is very busy he has indicated that it will be in place early summer – and we’re looking forward to the unveiling ceremony.”

Andy Scott said: “I’m happy with the progress we’re making: the next phase will be putting the arms on the steel frame, then working my way up to the big sweeping curve of steel that goes over the top.

“I’ve been working away on it alongside other projects in which I’m involved as a constant flow of work is coming through: as a solo artist I’ve got to keep looking to the next job.

“Now we’re just about ready to transport it to the galvanising plant in Cumbernauld to freshen it up, then we’ll be ready to go from there to Ravenscraig. Once completed, the sculpture will be about 17 feet high.”

Since the launch of the campaign a wide spectrum across the community - from councils and companies to schools and individuals - have rallied round to donate funds or highlight the initiative.

The Motherwell Times and Bellshill Speaker has also been heavily involved in supporting the project