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2020 / 2021 Edition

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The Coldstones Cut

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A major piece of public art that aims to reveal, inspire, challenge and interpret

The Coldstones Cut is an iconic piece of public art that has been built into the hilltop overlooking Coldstones Quarry, near Pateley Bridge, in the heart of Nidderdale in North Yorkshire. Created by the renowned artist Andrew Sabin, the dramatic sculpture has been designed in the shape of a spectacular ‘cut’ through the land, which will be visible from Google Earth.

Five years in the making and currently nearing completion, the £500,000 project is the result of an innovative partnership between private business and a local arts charity. First conceived in 2005, it will finally come to fruition on 16 September 2010 when the sculpture is officially opened by the director of Tate Britain, Dr Penelope Curtis.

The project, which seeks to inspire, challenge and interpret local themes and traditions through a streetscape between the two environments of the rural uplands and the industrial quarry, will provide benefits to the local community through enhanced tourism and the provision of a community resource for recreation and education. Information about the quarry, topology, geology and ecology of the area will not only benefit the casual visitor, but also form the basis for an educational programme for schools locally and beyond.

Visitors will be able to walk through the sculpture and explore the different vistas – from the stunning scenery of the Nidderdale AONB to major landmarks of North Yorkshire, including the White Horse at Sutton Bank, York Minster roof and Great and Little Whernside. In addition, a special viewing platform will provide the opportunity to see the day-to-day workings of the limestone quarry and experience a sense of ‘living history’ through man’s impact, past and present, on the landscape.

Quarrying was once one of the major local industries and helped to create the wealth and jobs which built the town of Pateley Bridge, but Coldstones Quarry is now the only remaining operational site in Nidderdale. Closure of the quarry in around 20 years time will mark the end of all extractive operations in the area, but The Coldstones Cut will provide a permanent reminder of the significance of the industry in the history of Nidderdale.

The project is a co-operative venture between Hanson Aggregates, the quarry’s owners and operators, and Nidderdale visual arts, a small community-based local charity dedicated to developing the visual arts as a force for economic benefit, personal development and community cohesion. The scheme has been supported by the Nidderdale Plus Partnership, a local voluntary community regeneration agency, and Harrogate Borough Council, both of which have provided advice and practical support throughout the planning, construction and management of the project.

The main funding for the sculpture has come from Natural England through Defra’s Aggregate Levy Sustainability Fund, together with other grants from the Arts Council, the EU’s Leader Programme and Yorkshire Forward, the Regional Development Agency. Hanson Aggregates have been a major contributor in terms of materials and time.

Commenting on the scheme, Patrick O’Shea, chief executive of Hanson UK, said: ‘We are delighted to be involved with this unique project, which will enable visitors to enjoy the wonderful Nidderdale scenery and to look down on Coldstones Quarry, which plays an important part in the economic and social fabric of the region. Creation of this major piece of public art is a credit to the project partnership of Nidderdale visual arts and Hanson Pateley Bridge, and everyone involved in supporting the project.’

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