Knife Angel arrives at its new home in Telford - with video

Shropshire's iconic Knife Angel sculpture arrived in Telford ahead of its official unveiling on Saturday.

The 27ft high statue, created to highlight the issue of knife crime, was transported to its new berth in Southwater from Gateshead, where it has been on display as part of a nationwide tour.

It will then be officially unveiled at a special event from midday on Saturday in Southwater Square.

The sculpture was created by artist Alfie Bradley at the British Ironwork Centre, near Oswestry, out of more than 100,000 knife blades donated by police forces across the UK.

School theatre workshops, activities and performances will also be taking place alongside the Knife Angel.

Angie Astley, Telford & Wrekin Council's executive director, said: "We are delighted to have been allowed to host the Knife Angel, particularly in Southwater.

"There are a lot of people who come to the shopping centre, so it's a really good focal point. Our main priority is to encourage all the young people in our schools to take a look and take part in the workshop about the consequences of knife crime.

"We all know that knife crime is on the increase. Thankfully in Telford & Wrekin it's not a massive issue, however, we want to make sure our young people do understand the consequences of knife crime so won't become a hotspot in the future."

The workshops will be run by theatre company Loudmouth. The play focusses on the consequences of knife crime, and thousands of children from across Telford & Wrekin Council will take part.

More than 40 schools from the Telford area and a total of 2,100 pupils will be visiting the statue over the coming month as part of their school day. Telford College and University of Wolverhampton will be carrying out sessions based around the statue's visit, and police will also be visiting every school to carry out assemblies.

Shoppers visiting Southwater will also be able to take in the view for the whole month as well.

Ms Astley said: "A lot of people will hopefully come and see it. It will bring communities together. We've had huge support from local businesses, community leaders, schools, colleges and faith groups.

"I'm really proud we've been allowed to host it. The knife angel has been doing a tour and it tends to go to big cities, so for it to come to Telford & Wrekin, we're delighted to get it.

"It's an absolutely stunning sculpture made of knifes given in at knife amnesties. The face of the knife angel is quite eerie, but it's stunning, and it weighs four tonnes, so it's quite a logistical exercise to get it in place."

Peter Phythian, managing director of KRL , the company that moved the Knife Angel to Telford, said: “We feel very privileged to be facilitating the move of the Knife Angel. Knife crime has a truly devastating impact on our society, and we feel incredibly fortunate to be in the position to help spread the message of the Save a Life Surrender Your Knife Campaign.

"KRL takes its place in the community very seriously, as a global freight company it is important that we also sometimes focus on matters much closer to home. Recent sad events in Telford Town Park make this particular project even more poignant and I hope the timing means maximum exposure for the amazing sculpture and what it represents. My team have put a huge amount of effort and time into helping get this here today and deserve a lot of credit for another job well done.”

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