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Sign of a warm welcome to Sandwell

Sandwell | News | Published:

A huge £30,000 'Welcome To Sandwell' sign is being crafted in Oldbury to be erected at Birchley traffic island.

A huge £30,000 'Welcome To Sandwell' sign is being crafted in Oldbury to be erected at Birchley traffic island.

At 36ft long and 12ft high, the steel sign will feature images of Sandwell. Canal scenes, chain making and depictions of brick makers will be flame-cut into the 14in-thick metal.

The sign, which will cost more than £30,000, is expected to by cemented in place in early June.

It is being created at Malthouse Engineering, in Hainge Road, Oldbury, where managing director Roy Taylor said: "This is about a wow factor.

"It's about telling people we are Sandwell, we make steel and we are very good at it. We are solid people and the salt of the earth".

The sign is being created letter by letter and will be fitted together by six steel beams. So far the S, A, and N have been finished, while work is under way on D.

Birchley island, next to Junction 2 of the M5, is a gateway into the borough with 92,000 motorists passing each day.

Sandwell Council spent £450,000 overhauling it earlier this year, in a bid to make the borough appear more welcoming.

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A total of 235 trees and more than 2,000 flowers and shrubs were planted, using more than 1,000 tons of soil, 300 tons of gravel and 400 tons of boulders.

Councillor Mahboob Hussain, Sandwell's neighbourhood boss, is delighted with how the work is coming together.

He said: "I'm impressed with how the sign is looking and the way it is being made. It's so hi-tech, and it is an Oldbury company that is doing the work, which is brilliant."

It is hoped that one of the companies based around the island will agree to be a sponsor.

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