Art tribute to Doncaster tractor factory

A giant work of public art is set to be put in place to pay tribute to a former Doncaster engineering works.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 18th January 2016, 2:04 pm
Updated Monday, 18th January 2016, 2:09 pm
'the last tractor to roll off the production line a the McCormick factory in Doncaster'.  Snaps from man who bought tractor -
'the last tractor to roll off the production line a the McCormick factory in Doncaster'. Snaps from man who bought tractor - [email protected]

Plans have been drawn up to build a five metre tall sculpture next to Wheatley Hall Road, which would mark the history of manufacturing tractors at the former McCormick factory there.

It would be on the grounds of the Wheatley Shopping Park, which is being extended.

Developer, BL Doncaster Wheatley Ltd, has drawn up the plans for the artwork, which would depict tractors .

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The agent for the scheme, Katie Brown of Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners, said the developer had recently invested significantly in the shopping park in terms of improving both its appearance and pedestrian and vehicular movement to enhance the overall shopping environment.

Doncaster Council planners have already agreed a number of proposals to modernise the site, including the creation of a customer service centre and installation of the children’s play area.

Now they want approval for a sculpture within the Western Terrace car park next to its new customer service centre.

Ms Brown said: “The principle of public art, at The Wheatley Shopping Centre, is in keeping with the recent investments at the park in which the public realm is seen as a key component of an enhanced shopping environment.

“The sculpture is also ‘place-specific’ relating to the former McCormicks Tractor factory, a large employer in the area that was located opposite the park.”

She said it reinforced the local distinctiveness of the area by celebrating the tractor production at Wheatley Hall.

The tractor factory assembled its last tractor eight years ago after 60 years of farm machinery production.

The factory complex was first built by International Harvester in 1946, and was used to build tractors from 1949.

Case acquired the plant in 1985 when it took IH’s agricultural operations, but had to sell it in 2000 to obtain European Commission clearance for a merger with another firm.

Another firm, Argo, bought the plant and formed its final McCormick business at the beginning of 2001.

The former factory site is expected to be redeveloped as housing. Planning applications for the redevelopment of the 112-acre site are due to be put forward to the council later this year or in early 2017.