St Helens Dream sculpture face of tourism scheme
A landmark sculpture in Merseyside has been named as the face of a new tourism campaign.
The Dream is a 66ft (20m) high sculpture of a girl's head with her eyes closed. It stands on the former Sutton Manor Colliery in St Helens.
A group of local ex-miners chose the design by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa.
It has been chosen by VisitEngland to launch the national Place of Interest Quality Assurance Scheme (PIQAS) which picks out top attractions.
The group of miners who used to work at the pit applied for the arts grant for the project as they wanted to "breathe new life" into the site and remember its past life.
The public artwork is made from 90 unique panels of pre-cast concrete and can be seen looking down from a hill near junction seven of the M62 motorway.
Gary Conley, an ex-miner from the focus group for Dream project, said he was delighted the sculpture was chosen to front the scheme.
"We've got an iconic sculpture done by a world class artist that other major towns and cities would absolutely revere.
"Just as we looked at the Angel of the North and saw what it had done for Gateshead and we wanted that for St Helens everything has a role model.
"It's nice to know that Dream is going to have that legacy as well."
St Helens councillor Barrie Grunewald said: "This reinforces Dream's significance as a forward-looking symbol of the positive transformation of St Helens and the wider region."
James Beresford, chief executive of VisitEngland said the organisation was delighted to launch their scheme with Dream as it was an artwork of regional, national and international significance.
It is hoped the launch will encourage other places of interest to sign up to the scheme to help them showcase their attractions.