30 January 2019 - A popular piece of public art is set to be temporarily removed to make way for exciting plans to develop East Square in Basildon town centre.

One of Basildon's oldest pieces of art entitled 'Man Aspires', which was created from wire and aluminium and designed by sculptor A. J. Poole, will be carefully removed and safely and securely stored. Work will begin on Tuesday 5 February.

Once the development of a 10 screen cinema, which will be operated by Empire Cinemas, plus six new restaurants is complete the sculpture and bench will be reinstated.

Councillor Tony Hedley, Basildon Council's Chairman of the Regeneration Committee, said: "It is important that public art such as the Man Aspires sculpture are retained in the works to pay homage to Basildon's rich cultural heritage.

"The sculpture and bench will be stored securely and cleaned before becoming part of a new and exciting East Square which will boost Basildon's night-time economy and improve the look and feel of the town centre."

Thurrock firm, Squibb Group, were awarded the contract for enabling works late last year.

It includes securing the site for development and the demolition of Freedom House and East Walk up to the NatWest units.

For further information about the plans contact the council's Regeneration Team at regeneration@basildon.gov.uk