THE Shuttle has landed in the heart of Nelson - and it marks the success of the town’s development as a cotton giant.
The 12m high sculpture is the focal point of the new development of the town centre, with the re-introduction of traffic and creation of an attractive new look, including the small amphitheatre which surrounds the Shuttle.
The £2m. project to brighten up the centre will be officially opened at 10-30 a.m. on Saturday, August 20th. Launching it will be TV and radio star Tony Livesey, a former Nelson Leader reporter who now presents sport on BBC North West News and the football programme “Late Kick-off”. He also features on Radio Five Live.
There will also be a collection of Art Cars making the first run through the reopened traffic route between Manchester Road and Leeds Road.
The Shuttle was designed and built by Pendle steel structure specialist David Palmer of DP Structures and was installed by crane in the early hours of this morning. David said: “It is very much like a shuttle. It has been a good job to make it and I’m glad to have done it.”
Pendle Council town centres manager Hanna Latty said: “ ‘Pleased’ is an under-estimate of how I feel about it going up. It’s terrific - it is just how I imagined it. It looks really good and it’s just right.
“A shuttle is shown on the old Nelson crest so it has been a symbol of the town for a long time now.”
And the council’s chief executive, Mr Stephen Barnes, said: “I’m delighted. This is very clearly representing the history of Nelson.”
He pointed out that the town developed very rapidly from the 1820s because of its growing cotton trade. “It really represents our past - it’s brilliant.”
The Shuttle will be lit at night, brightening up the centre. Much of it is untreated rusted metal, which has the look of a shuttle’s wooden format.
Pupils from Whitefield Infant School, Nelson, went to the factory to see the Shuttle being built and also went along to see it being installed today. Six-year-old Ali Akhtar said: “It is really impressive seeing it standing up. I went to see it when they were working on it and now it is up it is even better.”
Laiba Rashid (7) added: “We liked watching them working on it. It looks different now and I like it.”