Manchester City Council is suing design team behind the B of the Bang over safety of giant steel spikes

Manchester City Council is suing the design team behind the £1.4m sculpture B of the Bang after a string of safety failures.

B of the Bang

The 184ft structure, designed by Thomas Heatherwick, has been nicknamed “Kerplunk” by local residents after some of its giant steel spikes began falling 80ft to the ground.

The sculpture’s costs have almost doubled since it was originally commissioned to mark the 2002 Commonwealth Games and the Council estimates costs of £2m to get the structure up to scratch. An exclusion zone is in place around the site.

Manchester City Council chief executive Sir Howard Bernstein said: “The project has taken too long to bring forward although we have given the artist and their subcontractors every opportunity to remedy the situation. Our forbearance has now been tested to the full.

“As a public body with financial responsibilities, we have absolutely no alternative but to commence legal proceedings and see this matter through to its ultimate conclusion, if that proves necessary.”

Thomas Heatherwick Studio Limited and subcontractors Packman Lucas Limited, Flint and Neill Partnership, and Westbury Structures Limited are accused of negligence and being in breach of contract.

B of the Bang officially opened in January 2005 but part of the structure came loose within two weeks of the launch and had to be repaired.

Two spikes have since been taken away after showing defects and nine more removed as a precautionary measure.