Doncaster has a new landmark and work of public art ahead of the completion of the Great Yorkshire Way airport link road.
The ‘Yorkshire Gateway’ sculpture is to recognise the importance of the new road as a key access route into the county for people arriving at Doncaster Sheffield Airport.
Standing at nearly nine metres in height and about the same in width, the iconic installation is based on the popular Welcome to Yorkshire ‘Y’ logo. It will be seen by millions of people travelling from the airport, as well as visitors to the nearby Yorkshire Wildlife Park, one of Yorkshire’s premier tourist attractions.
Located on route of the Tour de Yorkshire, the gateway feature will be incorporated into local cycling routes encouraging people to interact with the new landmark. Parking and seating will also be provided for those who want to ‘stop for a selfie’ at the site.
The artwork was commissioned by Doncaster Council and created by Chris Brammall – one of the leading architectural and sculptural metalworkers in the UK.
Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster, said: “The simplicity of its design, scale and quality is a bold statement reflecting the importance of Great Yorkshire Way as the gateway into Yorkshire and a driver of economic growth for the local and regional economy.
“Tourism is worth £8 billion to the economy of Yorkshire and this feature is another opportunity to help Doncaster to maximise its share. We have a growing hub of tourist attractions in the area, with the fantastic Yorkshire Wildlife Park, our world famous racecourse and the proposed new European Tour Golf Complex at Rossington Hall.
“Together, these developments will help to put Doncaster firmly in the focus of new investors and visitors, creating more jobs and boosting our economy. By tapping into the Welcome to Yorkshire brand - synonymous with success and recognised across the world – it will offer great traction for increased awareness of Doncaster on an international stage and will help make the feature a popular attraction.”
Chris Brammall, the artist, said: “This piece is a modern symbol representing Yorkshire in the now, creating a landmark of significance with the capacity to capture a moment in time and form a lasting memory. This symbol will communicate on a visual and physical level and allow interaction, experience and memories to be formed.”
Its unveiling coincides with the Tour de Yorkshire next week – one of the biggest and most prestigious cycling races in the world. The feature will be seen during the live worldwide television coverage of the races.
Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “The ‘Y’ has become synonymous with Yorkshire and this huge version will definitely be hard to miss! The eye-catching landmark is a fabulous way to make sure people arriving in the county via Doncaster Sheffield Airport get a warm Yorkshire welcome.
“The Great Yorkshire Way is also on the route of the Tour de Yorkshire, which kicks off next week. In fact, the professional cyclists will be the very first people to use this road, which is a momentous way to celebrate the opening of this important new route.”
The feature will be open to the public once phase two of Great Yorkshire Way is complete and open for traffic in a few weeks’ time.
Mrs Jones added: “We have installed the artwork in readiness for the Tour de Yorkshire next week when the cyclists will race down the new section of Great Yorkshire Way before sprinting to the finish of stage one on Bennetthorpe in the town centre.
“Finishing touches need to be made to the new section of road before it’s open to traffic and once this construction work is complete the feature will be available for the public to engage with. As part of this interaction we plan to use the feature as the start and finish of three new recreational cycling and walking routes across our borough as part of our commitment to becoming a cycling town.”
The landmark feature cost just over £60,000. This is just a small proportion of the total cost of creating the £70million Great Yorkshire Way and is fitting for this major infrastructure scheme which is already delivering jobs and growth for the local and regional economy. It was capital expenditure which invests in Doncaster’s future and was not funding which could have been spent on day-to-day running costs of services.