Newcastle-under-Lyme is one hop closer to achieving its Britain in Bloom goals with the installation of a 9ft hare sculpture in the town centre.

The hare – affectionately named Harry – will join the brown trout, buzzard, and bee and dandelion which PM Training has previously created for other roundabouts in the area. These public art installations are an initiative by Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council to enhance roundabouts with sculptures of indigenous animals and plants.

The metal sculpture was designed by internationally renowned artist Andy Edwards and constructed by apprentices from PM Training.

Artworks Manager Phil Brown worked with apprentices Liam Robinson, 18, and Luke Steadman, 17, to create the impressive piece based on Andy’s design. The 363kg sculpture was constructed using more than 7,500 pieces of mostly recycled steel and took approximately three months to complete.

I never imagined I would be working on the projects I've installed since joining PM Training. From the buzzard to the bee and now a hare - it's fantastic. Working with Andy and Phil has taught me so much and being able to say I've created a hopping hare is a great feeling."

Will Nixon, Managing Director of PM Training and Deputy Group Chief Executive of Aspire Housing, said: “We were delighted to be asked to build another eye-catching sculpture for display in the town centre. Andy and Phil, with the help of our two apprentices Liam and Luke, have done a magnificent job. The hare sculpture is a great addition to the wealth of creativity already showcased in our beautiful town, and it will be a huge source of pride for the apprentices who worked so hard on it.”

Newcastle is a finalist in the ‘Champion of Champions’ category for Britain in Bloom, having achieved gold awards and numerous accolades last year. The unveiling of the hare will take place ahead of the 2018 judging date.

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