A PLAN to install a statue honouring the life and achievements of a key figure in Workington’s industrial history has been revealed by the county council.

Cumbria County Council plan to put up a sculpture outside Workington railway station heralding the achievements of steel-making pioneer, Sir Henry Bessemer .

Henry Bessemer was an important figure in the steel industry, most notably as the inventor of the ‘Bessemer process’ – the first inexpensive industrial process for the mass-production of steel from molten pig iron.

The ‘Bessemer Stone’ sculpture was commissioned by Cllr Marjorie Rae in order to celebrate one of the steel industry’s key figures and the historic importance of Workington as a producer of steel.

The original proposed location was near the centre of Workington, as part of a KFC fast food restaurant development that was being built in the vicinity of the former steel works.

However, the sculpture instead remained in storage with Cumbria County Council for several years.

Planning documents state: “The proposal is quite straightforward in that it is the installation of an existing statue.

“With recent and upcoming heritage projects being undertaken at the station, it became clear that this would be an ideal location and an opportune period to install the sculpture. Cllr Rae is supportive of installing the stone at this location.

“The statue is a tribute to him, and those who worked in the steel industry.”

The sculpture was created by renowned local sculptor, Shawn Williamson, from locally-sourced, hard carboniferous limestone – the same stone used in the Bessemer process.

The proposed location for the statue has been chosen because it is in the locality of the former steelworks site and therefore fits in with the historic and thematic context.

Cumbria County Council stated: “It ties in with the current Rails around the World project which celebrates the Workington steel industry.

“Installing the statue at this site will ensure that it is enjoyed by both local residents and visitors.”