UNIC URW 706 Lifts Bloomin’ Big Flower

UNIC Cranes Europe helped erect a 14-metre high wind-powered illuminated ‘flower’ on the banks of the River Mersey in Widnes.

The Widnes Future Flower has 120 metallic petals that will flutter in the wind and will be illuminated by 60 low-powered LEDs in various shades of red, with their intensity varying depending on the wind's strength and direction. The unique structure will be officially launched at an event on 29 March.

Although work on site was programmed to last for a total of five weeks, the art installation was erected by specialist fabricators Mike Smith Studios in only three days, with supervision from the appointed main contractor, Cheetham Hill Construction. UNIC Cranes Europe were consulted for advice on the job, for which they carried out a site survey and provided the biggest in their range of mini cranes, the URW 706 spider crane, along with a qualified CPCS crane operator. 

Designed by architects Tonkin Liu through an international competition funded by the North West Development Agency, the Widnes Future Flower is part of the ongoing Widnes Waterfront Regeneration Programme. Widnes Waterfront involves the regeneration of over 200 acres of former industrial land on the banks of the River Mersey into a modern business park environment and associated leisure facilities.

Graeme Riley,chief executive officer of GGR commented: “The Widnes Future Flower was a great project for UNIC Cranes Europe to work on.  It’s exactly the kind of niche application that we are proving ourselves to be experts in, time and time again.  On top of that, the end product looks great – a fantastic modern work of art.” 

UNIC Cranes Europe is home to the world’s most compact mini cranes, which provides lifting solutions where space and access are restricted.  UNIC Cranes Europe is part of The GGR Group, consisting of six brands –UNIC Cranes Europe, GGR Glass, GGR Galizia, GGR AirLift, GGR Cladding and GGR Rail.  The GGR Group is Europe’s leading supplier of vacuum handling equipment, restricted access lifting machinery and mini cranes, along with a variety of complementary products and services.

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