An ambitious proposal to build a monument three times the height of the Angel of the North in the Northumberland countryside is moving to its next stage – as the man behind the bid is set to decide on his preferred artist.
The 60metre-tall Elizabeth Landmark would stand atop Cold Law, a small hillside on the Ray Demesne estate, inbetween the parishes of Corsenside, Otterburn, Great Bavington, Kirkwelpington, West Woodburn and Elsdon.
If it goes ahead, it is envisaged that the monument would encourage visitors from far and wide to explore and contemplate the Northumberland landscape, boosting tourism in the process.
The sculpture is the brainchild of Lord Devonport, or Terence Kearley, 3rd Viscount Devonport, and would honour the reign of the Queen and celebrate the Commonwealth.
The landmark itself would be part of a wider experience, including a purpose-built car park, visitor information hub and a walking trail around the landscape, incorporating literary installation pieces by artists, writers and poets.
Since the idea was announced, some 1,000 people have visited and left comments through the project website and around 300 people participated in consultation sessions.
Now it is time for Lord Devonport to select the artist who will turn his dream into reality.
The artists, who have submitted their own designs and are vying to secure the commission, are Colin Rose, based near Alnwick; Peter J Evans, from Newcastle; and Simon Hitchens, of the West Country.
Lord Devonport said: “The proposals each present something different, offering creative interpretations of my initial idea. They are of an incredibly high standard.”
After an artist has been chosen, it is estimated that a year’s worth of planning and development will be required before the exact design and cost of the landmark, and walking trails, can be confirmed.
He said: “Our ambition is to create a long-lasting, proud monument that will draw visitors from around the world for hundreds of years to come. To do this, we will need not only an investment of funds, but also of resource and expertise.
“We will work with the chosen artist to build a team and develop a plan for funding throughout 2018. All being well, we will bring The Elizabeth Landmark to life in 2019.”