Water sight to be­hold

EX­HI­BI­TION CEN­TRE­PIECE WINS BACK­ING FROM BOTH AUTHOR­I­TIES

The Chronicle - - Front Page - By DANIEL HOL­LAND Re­porter daniel.hol­land@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

PLANS for a spec­tac­u­lar foun­tain that will be the cen­tre­piece of the Great Ex­hi­bi­tion of the North have cleared a vi­tal hur­dle.

Both Gateshead and New­cas­tle Coun­cils have now granted plan­ning per­mis­sion for the stun­ning water sculp­ture, which will stretch 80 me­tres along the River Tyne.

The fi­nal sign-off came from mem­bers of Gateshead Coun­cil’s plan­ning com­mit­tee yes­ter­day morn­ing, with a unan­i­mous vote in sup­port of the strik­ing in­stal­la­tion.

Coun John McClurey joked: “What hap­pens if we refuse it, be­cause that pic­ture has gone all over the world.” The sculp­ture is ex­pected to be in place un­til the end of Septem­ber and its first dis­play is set to be on the fes­ti­val’s open­ing evening of Fri­day, June 22. A chore­ographed dis­play of 30 water jets will blast ver­ti­cal col­umns of water be­tween 25 me­tres and 50 me­tres in the air – around the height of the Mil­len­nium Bridge – from a pon­toon moored from the jetty at HMS Cal­liope on the Gateshead side of the river. The de­sign of the sculp­ture has been in­spired by the An­gel of the North and three dif­fer­ent dis­plays are pro­posed. The ef­fect will last for ap­prox­i­mately four to six min­utes and will hap­pen ev­ery hour on the hour from 10am un­til 11pm daily.

The open­ing event on June 22 is yet to be fi­nalised but will use three pieces of mu­sic.

Water Sculp­tures Ltd, the firm be­hind the plans, cre­ated a water dis­play for the open­ing cer­e­mony of the Lon­don Olympics.

The Great Ex­hi­bi­tion will also in­clude Stephen­son’s Rocket at the Dis­cov­ery Mu­seum, a week­long feast of north­ern mu­sic at Sage Gateshead, and a sum­mit to show­case north­ern busi­ness in­no­va­tion.

There will also be three walk­ing trails show­cas­ing arts, in­no­va­tion and de­sign and a range of ex­hi­bi­tions at the Great North Mu­seum: Han­cock, the Sage and the Baltic gallery.

It is ex­pected to reach three mil­lion peo­ple and bring in up to £56m for the re­gion’s econ­omy.

How the sculp­ture could look

John McClurey

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