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Ainscough Crane Hire’s Wirral Depot has completed the lift of the world’s largest Liver bird at the site of Liverpool’s new major retail development – Liverpool Shopping Park – on Edge Lane, the city’s main arterial route linking the city centre with the M62.
The 11 metre tall bird has been constructed from steel sections made to look like Meccano components. The shopping Park was formerly home to a Hornby toys factory which manufactured millions of Meccano sets until it closed in 1979.
The lift was completed using a Liebherr LTM 1055 and which lifted the sculpture in one single section.
A joint commission by The Derwent Group, Liverpool City Council and Spin Master – global children’s entertainment company and makers of Meccano, the sculpture has been designed by internationally-renowned artist Emma Rodgers.
The new Liver Bird took more than a year to design and manufacture, used seven tonnes of steel and involved more than 1,000 hours of metalworking. The new Liver Bird is expected to be a popular landmark for the local community.
Paul McCabe depot manager of Ainscough’s Wirral Depot said: “More often than not, our work becomes invisible once construction projects are complete with steel work hidden from view for example. In this case, we’ve been involved in the centrepiece of the development which will stand there on display for many years to come.”
The Liver bird is the mythical symbol of the city of Liverpool with dozens of examples dotted around the city. Local folklore states that a pair of the birds are permanently resident in the city with one watching over returning sailors while the other watching those who remain on shore. Should the birds ever leave, the city will cease to exist.
The Bird’s unveiling comes as Liverpool Shopping Park’s first retailers open their doors and marks the start of a six-month period of ongoing store openings at the £100m development. Stores at the park will include H&M, Outfit, JD Sports, Smyths Toys, Boots and many more. Work is already underway on phase two, which will include Hollywood Bowl, a multi-screen cinema and a whole host of food and beverage operators, ready for an autumn 2018 opening. The park is expected to be the UK’s largest shopping park once complete at 727,000 sq ft and will create 3000 jobs.
You can view the time lapse video here