Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Balls on the Falls: delayed ... and now running £60k over-budget

model of Broadway roundabout sculpture - Rise

There's another twist to the story of “Rise” - the 35m high piece of public art that won its right to be installed on Broadway roundabout at the top of the M1.

A couple of weeks ago I posted that work on Wolfgang Buttress's £400,000 design had been pushed back to the spring of 2010 while his design was finalised and contractors were found. On top of that “the Northern Ireland Government’s [DRD Roads Service] annual two-month ban on roadworks over the festive period” meant that it was more sensible not to even start until the new year.

The sculpture's creator explained:

“There are about 7,500 struts of different lengths that have to be manufactured, as well as 2,000 pressed discs that the struts go into. We need to make the jig that it will all sit in before we can then think about the main construction process. The sculpture is simple, but because it is 35m high it needs to be done accurately.”

Tonight, the full meeting of the Belfast City Council will be asked to approve an extra £36,000 to fund extra safety checks that were not included in the original budget. The Department of Social Development have already agreed to contribute another £30,000.

The BBC report that:

"Applications for more funding from the Arts Council and two government departments were refused. The whole scheme will now cost almost £500,000 and will not begin until next year."

artist's impression of 'Rise' sculpture, planned for Belfast's Broadway roundabout