Sculpture makes its way to Openshaw’s new Lime Square development!

Sculpture makes its way to Openshaw’s new Lime Square development!

Sculpture makes its way to Openshaw’s new Lime Square development!

Nov 2010

Press release – photo/filming opportunity

A sculpture which has been created as the centre piece for a major new mixed use  development in east Manchester will make its slow journey on to site this weekend.

Called Dead Blow the sculpture by award winning artist Robert Erskine stands 29 feet high and is 35 feet wide – made of hard wearing Cromweld Stainless Steel it weighs in at around 15 tonnes.

The sculpture depicts a steam hammer, in celebration of east Manchester’s rich industrial heritage, and has been made at the nearby Thos Storey factory just a short walk from the new development.

And on Sunday November 7th it will be craned on to a low loader and be driven from the factory on Stainburn Road in Openshaw to its final resting place at the new Lime Square development on nearby Ashton Old Road.

A temporary road closure has been put in place while the massive sculpture is transported on to the site of the new Morrisons store - completed on scheduled by contractors PDR.

The impressive sculpture will be then be craned into place as the centre piece and entrance feature of the new £40 million Lime Square development where Morrisons is due to opens its new 80,000 sq ft food store later in the month.

Youngsters from the nearby St Clements C of E Primary School have taken a keen interest in the artwork, visiting the factory during its manufacture and even creating time capsules to be placed inside the enormous structure.

They’ll be taking part in a special plaque unveiling ceremony for the sculpture when the new Morrisons store opens. The work of art has been paid for by the developers, Dransfield Properties, as part of the overall scheme.

Managing Director Mark Dransfield, Managing director of Dransfield Properties Ltd said: “It is quite remarkable that we only took possession of the site 12 months ago and in that time the area has been transformed and delivered 350 new jobs at the new Morrisons store.”

“Delivering this scheme has been a true partnership with Manchester City Council and New East Manchester. We are now looking forward to starting work on the next phase early in the New Year and hope it will be a catalyst for companies investing in east Manchester.”

Sculptor Robert Erskine is looking forward to seeing his work finally being lifted into place. He said: “It is a very exciting moment when you see the finished work in place.

This has been a wonderful project to work on and I’ve been particularly pleased to be able to work with a company so close to the site in making the steam hammer.

 “The area is so rich in industrial history – it was where the greatest impetus for England’s industrial revolution began, and engineering excellence was founded.”

The second phase of the Lime Square development will deliver a further 76,550 sq ft of additional new retail space as well as a new health and fitness centre and modern office space.

Jo Lynch, HR and Safety Manager at Thos Storey, said: “We have never worked on anything quite like this before here at Thos Storey. It is a great project to be involved with and there has been a real buzz at the company about Robert’s work.

“We are all looking forward to seeing it moved into place and really pleased to have played our part in this great regeneration project in east Manchester.”

The Lime Square development has been designed by Chesterfield based WCEC. For further information about Dransfield Properties visit


Please contact Amanda Holmes to check timings and confirm attendance:

Wednesday November 3rd at at Thos Storey Fabrications, Openshaw.

Children from St Clements Primary School are to place 2 Memory Capsules inside the sculpture feature on:

 The Capsules contain information by the children on their family histories their school biographical data and impressions of the future, and their time now.

Sunday 7th November 2010

Please contact Amanda Holmes to check timings and confirm attendance:

7am – “The Dead Blow”  Steam hammer Sculpture to leave Thos Storey, Stainburn Road, Openshaw, Manchester M11 2EB, and travel along Ashton Old Road.

8.00am – Sculpture to arrive at Lime Square, Ashton Old Road and craned into to position.

10am – Sculpture fixed into position at Lime Square, Ashton Old Road 

Background Information

Lime Square: Plans for the new scheme in Openshaw on an 11.9 acre were unveiled in a public consultation in 2005. The scheme is being delivered in phases with the overall project expected to deliver up to 750 new jobs in the area.

The first phase is the new 80,000 Morrisons store which is due to open on November 15th . Work has been completed on schedule by contractors PDR. The next phase of work will start early next year.

This second phase will deliver new modern office space as well as 76,550 sq ft of additional retail space and a new health and fitness centre. The scheme has been brought forward by Barnsley based Dransfield Properties Ltd working in partnership with

Robert Erskine: Robert’s  work is internationally renowned and he has exhibited widely in Japan, Europe, Great Britain, and the USA; most notably a solo exhibition of sculpture and related two-dimensional works at the World Headquarters of Pfizer Pharmaceutical Inc, New York. This exhibition then went on tour to other major cities across the USA.
Robert has undertaken many architectural commissions, and designed award winning sculpture for major commercial developments, and regeneration schemes.  He has also created numerous monumental landmark sculptures throughout the UK and Europe. Robert has worked with Dransfield Properties on a number of projects as well as Dead Blow in Openshaw. Last year The Shard was unveiled at Alexandra Park in Tunstall as part of the company’s regeneration scheme on the former Wedgwood Alexandra Pottery site.

Robert is naturally involved in design as much as his sculpture, and works in the areas of product and industrial design, holding design patents.   He has been design consultant for Marks & Spencer and Nestle Europe.  In the area of architectural development he has been a designer working on the Sultan of Brunei’s Palace, and private and commercial developments including international Hotel Developments.

The Courtauld Institute and the Public Monuments and Sculptures Association, London, have awarded Robert’s public and landmark sculptures the status of permanent public monuments in acknowledgement of his contribution to the heritage and culture of the nation.


For further information, contact:-

Public Relations Department, Dransfield Properties Ltd
Tel: 01226 360644

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