The installation of Hull’s newest bespoke sculpture Solar Gate has begun.

The 10 metre tall stainless steel structure was brought in to the city centre yesterday evening for the start of an installation process that will take a team of specialists a number of weeks to complete.

A flat-bed lorry with police escort and two cranes were used to bring the sculpture into the gardens and manoeuvre it into place. Now secure, work can begin to bring the piece of art to life.

Leader of the council, Councillor Stephen Brady said:

“Solar Gate will be a fantastic addition to the great work already done to create a grand new entrance into Queen’s Gardens.

“Not only is Solar Gate totally unique, it’s an incredibly clever concept that Tonkin Liu have developed.

“Big thanks must go to Hull company Pearlgreen Engineering for taking on this challenging project and doing an amazing job. It’s great to know that local hands have created this new piece of public art that will no doubt become an iconic city feature.”

Tony Schultz, Director and Chairman of Strata Holdings said:

“Solar Gate has been both a huge engineering challenge and an absolute privilege to work on for everyone at Pearlgreen and Sovereign Signs.

“Seeing it installed into place in Queens Gardens will be a massive achievement and without doubt a once-in-a-working-career experience.

“I believe Solar Gate is a wonderful centrepiece for Queens Gardens, complementing and interacting with the new environment, and will be enjoyed for many years to come.”

Mike Tonkin, Tonkin Liu said:

“It’s great to see Solar Gate move into its new home in Queens Gardens, following its fabrication at Pearlgreen Engineering with local craftspeople.

“We are delighted to be delivering a truly innovative structure in the centre of the city to mark the rich history and positive future of the Hull.”

Work will now begin on installing new paving and a decorative steel ring around the structure, alongside electrics that will artistically light Solar Gate on a night.

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The final part of the process will be to install the 16 steel plates engraved with key dates in the city’s history around the sculpture that will bring Solar Gate to life with the sun lighting them up on their day.

The sculpture has cost £310,000 in total, most of which have come from the construction process that has been done locally. These costs are included in the overall £25million public realm scheme.

It is hoped the final sculpture will be officially opened in the coming weeks.

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