Giant 228m-wide horse power icon to be placed next to M1 motorway

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COUNCIL leaders are hoping this 228m-wide horse will become a local icon when it is placed on a hillside overlooking the M1 near Bolsover.

Derbyshire County Council is spending £77m on redeveloping the former colliery site at Markham Vale, with the long-term aim of creating 5,000 jobs.

The authority hopes the horse, which will be made from heather and illuminated in the evening, will put the flagship regeneration project firmly on the map for passing motorists.

In line with the eco-friendly future of the regeneration site, the outline of the horse will be lit up after dark using power generated by on-site wind turbines.

It is expected that the horse will pay for its on-going maintenance through the energy it creates from its wind turbines.

And excess energy will be sold back to the National Grid, with profits donated to local causes each year.

Derbyshire County Council leader Coun Andrew Lewer said: “We are proud of the work we have already done to lay solid foundations for long-term job creation at our Markham Vale site.

“An increasing number of companies see Markham Vale as the perfect place to locate to with one of the site’s outstanding features being the new motorway junction.

“We want to create something which is iconic, puts Markham Vale firmly on the map, and looks to an exciting future of further jobs creation.”

Mining ceased at Markham Colliery in 1993 after 111 years of coal production.

Earlier this year Markham Vale was granted Enterprise Zone status by the Government – meaning companies moving to some areas of the site can apply for Enhanced Capital Allowances, offering tax relief for major investment in plant and machinery.

Artist Jo Fairfax has been commissioned to create the horse and work is expected to start in early 2013 and be completed by the end of the year.