Unveiling of Manton Pit Wood sculpture marks re-opening of site to public

The official unveiling of the Gateway Sculpture at Manton Pit Wood, Worksop. From left, artist Jo Wheeler, Colin Donaghy - Pandrol UK Ltd, volunteer Michael King, Cllr Glynn Gilfoyle, Nigel Dawber and Peter Fendley from Worksop Harriers, Ted Wooddisse, Green Estates land manager and Ann Leigh-Browne Notts County Council

The official unveiling of the Gateway Sculpture at Manton Pit Wood, Worksop. From left, artist Jo Wheeler, Colin Donaghy - Pandrol UK Ltd, volunteer Michael King, Cllr Glynn Gilfoyle, Nigel Dawber and Peter Fendley from Worksop Harriers, Ted Wooddisse, Green Estates land manager and Ann Leigh-Browne Notts County Council

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A new sculpture which celebrates the industrial past of Manton Pit Wood and also marks the completion of a project to open up the area to the public has been officially unveiled.

The £14,000 sculpture, which was revealed on Tuesday, November 16, is the final piece in a project to open up the former Manton Pit site to the public for recreational use.

The site was originally restored in 1997 by Nottinghamshire County Council to a mixture of commercial forestry, amenity woodland and open space with full public access.

Unfortunately, however, Manton Pit Wood was closed to the public in 2009 due to an increase in anti-social behaviour and vandalism and fears for the public’s safety posed by the threat of illegally ridden off-road motorbikes.

Since 2012, the County Council has been working with a series of partner agencies on a project to restore the land for recreational use.

Artists Jo Wheeler and Ian Jones worked with local community groups, including schools, to create the four-metre tall sculpture which, in a nod to the area’s industrial heritage, is a representation of a pit wheel.

The sculpture was jointly funded by the council’s Supporting Local Communities fund; Pandrol UK Ltd; Brunton Shaw Ltd; NCC Green Estates and the CSL Centre in Manton.

“The Supporting Local Communities fund is an exciting opportunity for local people to make a real difference in their community,” said Councillor Jim Creamer, chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s environment and sustainability committee.

“The SLC fund has helped deliver numerous worthwhile schemes throughout the county and we are pleased to confirm that this support is continuing.”