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Worthing latest council to suffer curse of innovative structures

A piece of innovative artwork will no longer be appearing on the seafront at Worthing after a prototype revealed technical problems.

Worthing Borough Council had hoped the Suncloud installation would take centre stage in its plans at Splash Point, but concerns have been raised over its suitability.

Suncloud is made up of 33 poles topped with solar-powered lights, which are triggered when people walk underneath them, and was chosen because it was fun and visitors to Splash Point could interact with its design.

However, since testing began several months ago problems have arisen which have led to the council axing its inclusion in the project.

The issues are being resolved, but it will not be completed in time to meet the strict timetable set by CABE’s Sea Change Programme.

Despite the set back, the council still plans to include innovative and exciting public art at Splash Point.

Cabinet member for regeneration Ann Barlow said: “‘We are obviously disappointed about Suncloud still needing further testing. However, we are in a fortunate position that we have secured £500,000 of Sea Change funding for the Splash Point area. The design competition is already under way and public art could be included.”

Worthing’s woes come after Manchester City Council endured year’s of misery over its B of the Bang sculpture.

Last November the city council finally reached a £1.7M out of court settlement with the designers and contractors involved in the design and build of the ill-fated ‘B of the Bang’ sculpture in east Manchester.

Named after a quote by sprinter Linford Christie, who said he left his starting blocks at the start of a race “On the ‘b’ of the bang,” the structure has been plagued by problems since it was unveiled in January 2005.

The structure cost twice the projected spend, eventually costing £1.4M when it opened in 2005. Since then, the 56m tall sculpture has suffered from its characteristic spikes falling-off

 

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