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Timeline and awards


The site was originally part of a coal mine and a modern baths was complex built in the site in 1939. Mining ceased here in the late 1960s. 

Reclamation of former pit head baths site overlooking the A1.

July 1990 
Gateshead Council's Art in Public Places Panel decides in principle to earmark the site of the former pit head baths overlooking the A1 in Gateshead for a future landmark sculpture.

Landscaping of the site completed.

December 1993
A shortlist of international artists was drawn up and candidates invited to make proposals for the site.

January 1994
Sculptor Antony Gormley selected by the panel and design proposals progressed with world renowned engineering consultants, Ove Arup & Partners.

The Angel was awarded a National Art Collection Fund Award for outstanding contribution to the visual arts.

February 1995
Planning permission for the project approved by Council.

April 1996
Funding of £800,000 secured for the sculpture: £584,000 from the Arts Council is Lottery Fund, £150,000 from the European Regional Development Fund, £45,000 from Northern Arts, plus private sponsorship.


The Angel was awarded a British Gas/ Arts Council Working for Cities Award.

May 1997
Fabrication company chosen - Hartlepool Fabrications Ltd on Teesside.

July 1997
Delivery of first consignment of steel for fabrication to Hartlepool.

September 1997
Work began on Angel of the North foundations by Thomas Armstrong (Construction) Ltd. 

January 1998
Fabrication of sculpture nears completion.

February 1998
The Angel of the North made its long-awaited journey to its new home during the night in February 1998 with a police escort. It was delivered in 25m sections and travelled at just 10mph. 

The sculpture receives awards from the Northern Electric & Gas Awards (Arts Event of the Year); The British Constructional Steelwork Association Awards (structural steel design) and was highly commended in the British Construction Industry awards (small projects section). 

The Angel is awarded the South Banks Show Award for Visual Arts.

The Angel receives a Civic Trust Award.

Named by the BBC as one of the classic designs of the twentieth century.

Voted one of the 'Wonders of Britain' in a national survey carried out by The Yellow Pages. Other wonders included The Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Stonehenge and Windsor Castle.

Voted one of 'Britain's top ten landmarks' by a poll conducted by YouGov for consultants Faithful + Gould.  It is now regarded in the same league as Big Ben and Stonehenge. In the same year, the Angel also topped a national poll as the UK's most recognised landmark in poll carried out by The National Lottery.