FRIENDLY farmyard faces are popping up in Penistone as part of a new public art trail aimed at bringing visitors flocking.
Shoppers, visitors and residents will be able to spot the four-legged newcomers making up the Penistone Sheep Trail around the town. It features sculptures of sheep who are cycling, roller-skating, ready to watch a film or enjoying a bike ride. Work to install them has been taking place throughout this week and they will all be in place in the next few days.
The trail is part of our work under the Principal Towns and Local Centres Programme to encourage people to spend more time in their local high streets and inspire more visitors to come and explore what their local area has to offer.
Following consultation with local residents, businesses and community groups, artist Michael Disley was commissioned to shape 11 woolly new residents from natural granite for Penistone inspired by landmarks around the town.
The project is rooted in the heritage of Penistone, where sheep sales have been held for hundreds of years, while the whitefaced woodland breed are also known as Penistone sheep.
The flock includes:
- A sheep clutching a carton of popcorn, who stands outside the Penistone Paramount Cinema on Shrewsbury Road
- A cycling sheep on the Trans-Pennine Trail at Penistone Showground
- A football kit-wearing sheep at Penistone Church Football Club on Church View Road
- A travelling sheep with a suitcase near Penistone Railway Station off Eastfield Avenue
- A bookworm sheep outside Penistone Library on High Street
- A roller-skating sheep at Penistone Leisure Centre on Thurlstone Road
- Five benches in the form of "grazing" sheep - two outside the Market Hall and three at the playground off Schole Avenue.
The footballing sheep has been ‘adopted’ by fans at Penistone Church FC and named Penny, but the remaining sheep characters will be named in conjunction with children at local schools.
If you spot a sheep around town, why not share a selfie on social media using the hashtag #PenistoneSheep?
Michael is a stone sculptor with more than 30 years’ experience, and his past works include benches shaped like feet in Leeds, ice cream-shaped bollards at South Shields and a fish perched at the site of Scammonden Reservoir in West Yorkshire.
His work on the Penistone project has included granite-carving workshops at local schools titled School of Rock.
The art trail has been funded by and is part of our Principal Towns programme, under which we have already invested £5 million into our six Principal Towns and ten Local Centres to help them thrive, with another £30 million planned over the next five years.
Cabinet Support Member for Regeneration and Culture, Cllr Janine Moyes, said: “We’re working hard to encourage residents to spend more time in their local high streets, supporting local shops and meeting friends, and to give people even more reason to visit Penistone.
“I hope everyone will enjoy discovering this fun new art trail, and I look forward to seeing what great suggestions children at our local schools have for members of the flock.”