Reports that Thomas Heatherwick’s troubled B of the Bang sculpture in Manchester is set to be pulled down are ‘pure speculation’, says Manchester City Council.
The council is considering options for the future of the sculpture after receiving £1.7m in an out-of-court settlement from Heatherwick and subcontractors Packman Lucas, Flint and Neill Partnership, and Westbury Sculptures.
The council had begun legal proceedings for breach of contract and negligence after becoming concerned about the safety of the 56m-high sculpture, which had to be fenced off after one of its spikes fell off and a further nine had to be removed.
The settlement means court proceedings scheduled for later this month will no longer go ahead.
The council’s senior executive is set to make a decision on the future of the sculpture in the new year. One option on the table is to dismantle it.
The 2005 sculpture cost £1.42m to erect, with funding from the council, the European Regional Development Fund, the Northwest Development Agency and English Partnerships, and the council is estimated to have spent £300 000 on repairs to it.
Susan Orrell, a solicitor from Manchester City Council, says, ‘I am pleased we have reached a settlement that is, in my view, in the best interests of the council.
‘Now that this has been achieved, it means the council can move on and consider the future of the structure in conjunction with the project’s funders.’
A spokeswoman for Heatherwick says, ‘The settlement is good news, as it means we can now look forward to working with the council on options for the future of the sculpture.’