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Whale tail sculpture marks the heritage of Yorkshire coast

A whale tail sculpture, which marks the cultural heritage of the Yorkshire Coast, has been installed at an affordable housing development in Staithes.
Whale tail in Yorkshire in memorium

A whale tail sculpture, which marks the cultural heritage of the Yorkshire Coast, has been installed at an affordable housing development in Staithes.

The 1.8m tall steel piece of artwork was commissioned by Yorkshire-based housing association, 54North Homes and stands proud at its 12-home Endeavour Close development off Hinderwell Lane in the village.

Kate Spencer, Director of Customer Experience at 54North Homes, said: “It was fantastic for the team to gather at Endeavour Close to see the sculpture in place. Joined by residents of the development, it felt really special to be able to mark the completion of these new homes with an unveiling of the artwork.

“We know the vital importance of building new affordable housing so villages like Staithes can be affordable for all sections of society. We want to ensure that local people don’t have to move away to find the homes they need and we hope these new homes will help tackle this problem.”

The sculpture was erected in memory of the late Barbara Ballard, a past Board Member of York Housing Association (now 54North Homes) and passionate supporter of social housing, whose donation to the housing association, left in her Will, funded the sculpture.

Allan Roberts, Barbara’s partner, shared his thoughts on the sculpture erected in her memory.

“The work Barbara did with York Housing Association was a big part of her life and she left a real legacy. She was really passionate about all the work that YHA did to support customers and communities, and the donation she left was to help fund added extras for projects it delivers.

“I think this is a lovely project and a great use of her donation. She’d have loved the sculpture and would have been very touched by the memorial.”

Allan Roberts

The sculpture has been designed and created by local artist and blacksmith Katie Ventress, who constructed the artwork using an internal steel skeleton to form the shape and strength, and welded 2mm panels of sheet steel to it to replicate the whale’s skin.

Katie said: “This has been an incredible project to work on and I’m grateful to the team at 54North Homes and Karbon Homes for giving me the opportunity to create this piece.

“The whale is a very important creature to save and cherish, not only for the ecosystem but also for our heritage and our shared values. I feel that this is of similar importance to respecting the local people of Staithes, protecting the character of the area by making sure that local people have access to secure, affordable homes such as the ones built at Endeavour Close.”

Endeavour Close, which was brought to fruition with support from 54North Homes parent company, Karbon Homes, welcomed its first residents in Summer 2022.

The development was backed by a funding contribution of £70,000 from Scarborough Borough Council, to help address local housing need, as well as £400,000 funding from Homes England.

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