Published Friday 10 May 2019 at 14:57
The striking centrepiece of Darwen town centre’s £1.5m transformation has been craned in to position.
Residents watched on as the impressive sculpture depicting a majestic Peregrine Falcon was transported through the town centre to the site of the new Market Square.
There, it was carefully lowered in to position on this morning – sitting at the very heart of the new outdoor events space – which boasts landscaped areas, seating and artwork honouring brave Darwen soldiers killed in the First World War.
The sculpture, designed and created by renowned artist Liam Hopkins, who has work showcased in galleries around the world, has been made using woven copper in a nod to the town’s weaving heritage and has an impressive 5m wing span.
Councillor Phil Riley, Blackburn with Darwen’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said:
The sculpture really is impressive and looks fantastic at the centre of the new Market Square.
This is a really big project for the town and Liam has worked closely with groups to create something iconic that celebrates Darwen and its residents.
Seeing it now in place is a real milestone for the regeneration of that area of the town centre and I hope it will be enjoyed for generations to come.
Residents are invited to the Darwen Rotary Day tomorrow (Saturday) to see the sculpture for the first time as part of an official opening of the Market Square.
Performers from across the town, including students from the Darwen School of Music and Darwen Brass Band, will entertain crowds between 10am and 11:30am.
The Rotary event will offer family entertainment throughout the day.
Councillor Riley added:
Liam chose the Peregrine Falcon after speaking to residents of all walks of life and listening to their stories about Darwen – hearing what they’re really proud about and what they love about the town.
People spoke about the moors, landmarks including India Mill Chimney and the Peregrine Falcons there. He also felt the bird represented the feeling that residents in Darwen are strong and resilient.
Alongside the sculpture, he has created new illuminated window boxes for the units under Railway Road proudly showing the names of soldiers from Darwen who died in the First World War.
At night, some of those names will project on to the wall which will create a really nice visual effect.
The Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen, Councillor Pat McFall, has been invited to officially open the Market Square – one of her last engagements as First Citizen for the borough.
Councillor Riley said:
The event will be a chance for residents to come together and see the Market Square properly for the first time.
The majority of the work has now been completed and it’s looking really good, but as with any projects on this scale, it’ll take time for the landscaping to be fully established so some areas will need to remain fenced off in the short-term.
The new square is a great space for large, outdoor events that will help draw people to the town, offering something different that’ll help boost our local businesses.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank residents and businesses for their support during the work – I hope they’ll be just as impressed as I am with how it’s coming together.