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Burnley’s Singing Ringing Tree voted one of UK’s top landmarks

Mid Pennine Arts is delighted to share the news that one of Lancashire’s Panopticons, Burnley’s Singing Ringing Tree, has been voted amongst the 21 landmarks that define Britain in the 21st century.

The Independent newspaper, in partnership with the British Airways High Life magazine, invited the public to nominate the landmarks that most enrich the nation.

Thousands of votes were received for structures across the UK and MPA used social media to mobilise fans of the Singing Ringing Tree, a 3-metre-tall, wind-powered steel sculpture, at Crown Point on moorland above Burnley.

Completed in 2006 as part of MPA’s Panopticons series, and commissioned from leading architects Mike Tonkin and Anna Liu, the SRT has won multiple awards and proved hugely popular with many thousands of visitors.

The final top 21 landmarks were then selected by a panel of expert judges. They included Stephen Hodder, president of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), broadcaster Julia Bradbury, Stirling Prize-winning architect Will Alsop and Whitechapel Gallery Director Iwona Blazwick.

Singing Ringing Tree took its place in a list of very well known structures such as Blackpool Tower, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Angel of the North.

Judge Stephen Hodder said of the Singing Ringing Tree:
"This is one part of a sequence of objects. It's just beautifully elegant and it's ingenious and it sings!"

2016 will mark the 10th anniversary of the Singing Ringing Tree and MPA plans a season of celebration.

The Panopticons series were originally conceived to present positive images of Pennine Lancashire to counteract the often negative portrayal of the area in national media.

SRT has achieved this with fans all across the world, YouTube videos watched by millions, and regular use of its image by Burnley Council to promote the town. With features in the Independent and BA’s in-flight magazine as well as on BBC Breakfast (Saturday 1st August), we expect many more people will be seeking out this Lancashire gem.

MPA Creative Director Nick Hunt said:
“We are absolutely thrilled that our brilliant, pint-sized, low-cost landmark has been recognised alongside all those familiar, major icons of modern Britain.  We conceived the Panopticons as ‘new landmarks for the 21st century’ and they continue to pay real dividends, thanks to all our partners who had the courage and vision to invest in art and creativity.”

Find out more about the Singing Ringing Tree and the competition on MPA’s website.