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Angel wings to go? Shoppers snub £8m plan to rip up iconic sculpture and build ‘pointless’ bridge instead

PUBLISHED: 16:51 22 September 2017 | UPDATED: 17:46 22 September 2017

Angel Central has disowned the huge wings sculpture. Picture: Angel Central

Angel Central has disowned the huge wings sculpture. Picture: Angel Central

Archant

Angel Central’s £8million plan to bin its iconic angel sculpture in favour of a “pointless” footbridge has fallen flat with shoppers.

An artist's impression of the planned Angel Central redevelopment. Picture: Cunning PlanAn artist's impression of the planned Angel Central redevelopment. Picture: Cunning Plan

The shopping centre in the heart of Islington has applied for planning permission to spruce itself up. It wants extra space for three new restaurants, better lighting, upgraded flooring and the controversial footbridge – which will connect two sides of the centre’s mezzanine level, meaning the angel wings would have to go.

People out and about in Islington today were less than impressed.

Genevieve Krom, 30, told the Gazette: “It seems like a total waste of money.

“A bridge would actually close off the space more, so it’s pointless really.”

Planning Agent CBRE argued the wings make the space “feel enclosed”. But some shoppers say the wings are an icon that makes the centre unique, and a bridge would be unnecessary.

“I don’t see the point,” said Elyza Daniel, 40. “And I don’t see the point of spending so much on expanding the arcade upstairs, when it’s already a buzzing shopping area.”

The 15-metre stainless steel angel sculpture was commissioned in 2003 by Wolfgang Buttress and Fiona Heron and has been the focal point of the centre since.

Viktor Lipinski, 42, said: “I know nothing about business and why it should cost so much. I only know that the wings are beautiful – they remind me of pictures of Christian angels.”

"I know nothing about business and why it should cost so much. I only know that the wings are beautiful – they remind me of pictures of Christian angels"

Viktor Lipinski

Centre manager Lynne Glover said in a statement she hoped Islington would be “excited” by the centre’s new vision, which she labelled an “incredible project” that would transform Angel Central.

Paddy Bartley, 63, said: “I think it’s all wrong – it’s a load of rubbish. They should leave it the way it is. We don’t want a bridge.

“The best thing to do with £8million is send it to those who need it most.”

And Daniel Shane, 49, added: “I don’t think the walkway would bring anybody any benefit. I think it’d be really sad if the wings went.

“The cost is crazy. The shops on that side of the centre – why do they even need to be connected?”

Work on the shopping centre will begin in January if planning permission is obtained.

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