Page last updated at 07:32 GMT, Thursday, 12 June 2008 08:32 UK

'Angel of the Border' funds found

Angel of the North
The Angel of the North is viewed by millions every year

A financial package has been agreed to support plans for a landmark artwork near the Scotland-England border.

The aim of the project is to recognise Gretna's role as a "gateway" to Scotland and create a structure to rival Gateshead's Angel of the North.

The estimated cost of taking the project to the design and consultation stage was 130,000.

The overall budget for the construction of the iconic work is likely to be somewhere between 2m and 3m.

Dumfries and Galloway Council has earmarked 50,000 for the first phase of the scheme.

This project would offer a fantastic opportunity to put the area on the map and raise our profile
Cllr Roger Grant

The remaining funds will come from Scottish Enterprise and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority as part of a wider regeneration strategy to offset the closure of the nearby Chapelcross power plant.

The council has also revealed that two internationally-acclaimed artists, who are based in the region, have expressed interest in producing designs.

The concept of developing a major landmark in Gretna is based on the success of the Angel of the North.

The massive structure is one of the most viewed pieces of art in the world - being seen by more than 33 million people every year.

Landmark icon

Dumfries and Galloway Council believes the south of Scotland project has similar potential.

It says about 10 million vehicles pass by Gretna on the A74(M) motorway each year.

"This project would offer a fantastic opportunity to put the area on the map and raise our profile," said planning committee chairman Roger Grant.

"It would be a landmark icon that would be identified with the region and, like the Angel of the North, become a destination in its own right."




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