£500,000 public art sculpture in Port Glasgow delayed amid ‘problems’

THE installation date for a controversial £500,000 public art sculpture has been missed and the council says it cannot give a new one amid a ‘problem’ with the project.

The large ‘Port Glasgow Shipbuilders’ statue was due to be placed in Coronation Park this summer but it won’t happen now, the Telegraph reveals today.

Problems with the foundations needed for the huge stainless steel monument are believed to be delaying the project.

John McKenna, the artist responsible for creating the monument, revealed that his work had been ready since December.

But he says the council is still working on putting in place a proper foundation for the 14-tonne, 33-foot-tall structure.

Mr McKenna said: “The two figures, bar cleaning, have been ready since the end of last year.

“There was a delay with the foundation and the preparation of the site.”

Once the foundations are in place, the huge structure will be transported from the artist’s Ayrshire base and then assembled.

Mr McKenna said: “We will be using a range of trucks and low loaders.

“All is well, the sculpture will take two to three weeks to assemble.”

The project started eight years ago and the monument was originally intended for a roundabout on the A8 before the location was changed.

It drew criticism due to the costs involved and the length of time required to complete the work.

Councilman Jim MacLeod says he’s not happy to hear about another heist.

Mr MacLeod said: “It is annoying and frustrating that after many years there have been further delays in the erection of the statue in Port Glasgow.

“I’m sure the statue will be a big attraction once it’s placed in Coronation Grounds.

“But I was very annoyed by the increased costs and the delays in completing the project.”

Deputy Provost David Wilson said there had been conflicting versions of what was causing the delay.

Councilor Wilson said: “I think it’s up to us to do the foundation.

“There have been reports that delays have been caused by the construction of the base and other reports that the sculpture is not ready.

“I think the truth is somewhere in between.

“It was a dock at one point and full, I don’t know if the council had any issues with that.

“If they can build foundations for wind turbines in Corlic Hill, they can build foundations in Coronation Park.

“All of these things can be resolved.

“Port Glasgow has made great strides over the last 10 years and it will add to that.

“I’m very excited about it.”

Councilor Drew McKenzie told the Tele that a report was due to be presented at the Port Glasgow Regeneration Forum meeting early next month on the sculpture.

He said, “After that, we will know better what the situation is.”

The artwork will be one of the largest of its kind in Western Europe when in place.

But Inverclyde council confirmed they could not provide a date for the installation.

A spokesperson said: ‘We are currently working on a solution to allow us to install the sculpture as soon as possible.

“Once completed, we believe it will become an iconic attraction for residents but also for visitors to experience Inverclyde and the many great things we have to offer.”

Mildred D. Field