As part of a planning application for a new surface mine at Shotton in Northumberland, the Banks Group and landowner Blagdon Estate decided to create something unique which would enhance the positive social and economic impact of the project on the surrounding area.
The company adopted a “Restoration First” strategy to the scheme, taking an extra piece of land donated by the landowner, adjacent to the mine and providing a new landscape for the community to enjoy while the mine is still operational. The project team approached world-renowned artist Charles Jencks to design a new landmark feature.
The outcome of the design process was Northumberlandia, a reclining female figure set into the local landscape and built from carefully selected material taken from the surface mine that would become the world’s largest human landform.
It was envisaged that the project would be an outstanding artistic landmark which would stand alongside the region’s other main tourist attractions, and would also provide high quality leisure facilities for use by the local community and visitors to the area for many decades to come.