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We want a new landmark – what do you want it to be?

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A supermarket chain is planning to create a landmark monument on the site of a former factory.

Sainsbury's is preparing to build a new superstore on the former GE Lighting site at the corner of Troon Way and Melton Road in Rushey Mead, Leicester.

And the people of Leicester are being asked to suggest their ideas for a £70,000 statue or sculpture, which will stand outside the supermarket.

MP Keith Vaz, who will be chairman of the judging panel, is hoping for something to rival the Angel of the North.

He said: "This site has been derelict for far too long and the development of the area is long overdue.

"I am delighted that Sainsbury's has agreed to provide funding for this new historic and exciting landmark.

"We want everyone to have their say in what will be a very special landmark."

Other judges will include local councillors, Sainsbury's chief executive, headteacher of the nearby Mellor Primary School, Leicester Mercury editor Richard Bettsworth and Dharmesh Lakhani, chairman of Belgrave Business Association.

Mr Lakhani, who is also a Golden Mile restaurateur, said: "I'd personally like to see something big and something that represents the cultural mix of the city.

"The old factory was a bit of an eyesore and this will make it nice and modern, as well as providing a shopping centre."

Mr Bettsworth said: "The GE Lighting factory was itself a Leicester landmark for many years, particularly at Christmas when it was lit up with festive lights.

"We welcome plans for a new monument there and look forward to seeing people's ideas.

"This is a great opportunity to create a landmark which reflects the city's bright future."

Leicester City Council's arts service will be working with schools and community groups in the area to gather ideas and themes from people of what they would like as a landmark but anyone in Leicester will be able to submit their ideas by e-mail.

People in Rushey Mead were yesterday supportive of the idea.

George Ames, 73, said: "It should be a statue of Margaret Thatcher and they can make it the size of the Angel of the North. She put this country to rights."

Maz Ewart, 67, said: "It would be lovely to have a big landmark on that corner. I've been past the Angel of the North and it's beautiful. Maybe they could have a statue of a sports star such as rugby's Martin Johnson."

Sushia Gohil, 64, said: "Some big monument would be good there. If it was up to me it would be Amitabh Bachan, my favourite actor."

The consultation will close on June 30. To submit an idea to the judging panel, e-mail:

leicesterlegacy2013@gmail.com

We want a new  landmark – what do you want it to be?


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