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A model of the new artwork at Bury Sculpture Centre
A model of the new artwork at Bury Sculpture Centre

Press release -

Famous sculptor heralds new vision for Burrs Country Park

One of Europe’s leading artists has created the latest addition to the Irwell Sculpture Trail at Burrs Country Park in Bury.

The contemporary piece is by Auke de Vries,the Netherlands’ best-known sculptor with a reputation for creating unique and intriguing pieces all over the world – from The Hague and Berlin to Stuttgart and Barcelona.

Bury is now added to this list of locations, and the sculpture will be formally unveiled on Thursday 27 July.

Burr’s Country Park is already home to three artworks on the Irwell Sculpture Trail. This latest piece – located on the remains of Burrs Mill - is designed to complement the natural landscape and its former industrial remnants, referring both to the park’s past and future.

The funding for this project has come through S.106 funding, i.e. money paid by developers and allocated to be spent on art in the borough. It is not funded by local council tax payers.

Cllr Judith Kelly, cabinet member for corporate affairs and regulatory services, said: “The Irwell Sculpture Trail is the largest public arts scheme in the North West. With this new addition of a prominent artwork by such a renowned artist, we expect to see further growth in visitor numbers to the site and the local area.

“Auke’s commission is part of the new exciting direction and ambition for the park, broadening its uses and audiences with the new East Lancashire Railway station and plans for a Heritage Lottery Bid to further develop the park and its uses.”

The commission follows an exhibition of Auke’s work at Bury Sculpture Centre in 2016.

Tony Trehy, Bury’s head of arts and museums, said: “Auke de Vries has recently received the highest national honour from his native Holland. He is internationally recognised as a great sculptor; for instance, he has three significant sculptures at the entrance of the European Courts of Justice in The Hague.

“It was specifically sited in Burrs to support the Burrs Park Development Plan which identifies public art as contributing to the establishment of the park as a visitor destination.”

For more details about the Irwell Sculpture Trail, go to


Press release issued: 11 July 2017.

Notes for Editors:

The opening on the 27 July will be followed by a lecture (date to be confirmed) by the artist on scale.

The foundation of the artwork has used an original anchor system of the engine bed upon which the artwork is sited - all works have been catalogued and reported on through an industrial archaeology report.

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Bury Council consists of six towns, Bury, Ramsbottom, Tottington, Radcliffe, Whitefield and Prestwich. Formed in April 1974 as a result of Local Government re-organisation it was one of the ten original districts that formed the County of Greater Manchester. The Borough has an area of 9,919 hectares (24,511 acres) and serves a population of 187,500.

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