ARTISTS are being challenged to come up with designs for a giant £4 million piece of new public artwork on the site of the former Tinsley Towers.
Sheffield Council is seeking detailed designs for the landmark and is issuing a detailed brief to artists and engineers before Christmas, who will be asked to come up with firm proposals by early next year.
The proposed artwork would form part of the wider economic regeneration for the Lower Don Valley area, which includes an Enterprise Zone bid, a biomass power station, a link road beneath the Tinsley viaduct to relieve congestion and flood defence work.
Electricity company e.on is providing £500,000 towards the cost of the artwork and the council will apply for grants from bodies such as the Arts Council England or National Lottery to cover the rest.
A separate £130,000 fund has been put together, funded by e.on, plus a contribution from Arts Council England, to pay for preliminary costs and feasibility work once a design is chosen next year.
Ideas for replacing the iconic cooling towers - demolished in 2008 - have included a giant stainless steel football, proposed by former Sheffield Central MP Richard Caborn.
But Sheffield Council’s cabinet member for business, jobs and growth Coun Helen Mirfin-Boukouris said: “We have not decided what the art work will look like – this will be the job of the artist and engineer teams but what we do anticipate is that the art work will be a statement for Sheffield.
“The cooling towers represented high carbon output in a bygone era. The new artwork will represent Sheffield as a green city of clean energy.”
She added that no council funds would be used to develop the project.