Birmingham New Street station has been revealed as the new home of the Commonwealth Games’ Raging Bull. Birmingham 2022 and Network Rail have revealed plans for the star of the spectacular opening ceremony to arrive at Britain’s busiest station outside London on a one-way ticket this summer.
A photomontage of how the Bull could look when in place under Birmingham New Street’s atrium roof has also been released.
Network Rail has worked closely with Birmingham 2022, Birmingham City Council and the West Midlands Combined Authority to make New Street the beloved Bull’s permanent home right in the heart of the city centre.
While the Raging Bull is having a winter makeover to ensure it’s fit for its new home and to turn it into a static sculpture, final details are being worked through to make sure the design is compliant with building and fire regulations.
Then the huge task of relocating the Raging Bull can be set in motion, aiming for a summer 2023 arrival.
Lord Hendy, chair of Network Rail, said: “As soon as the Raging Bull appeared in the Commonwealth Games’ opening ceremony it captivated the nation, cementing itself as an icon for host city Birmingham. When the opportunity came to provide a permanent home for this brilliant artwork, there could be no better place than Birmingham New Street’s huge concourse and atrium, which welcomed 1.4m people during the multi-sport event last summer.
“When the Raging Bull is proudly in place, tens of thousands of people every day will be reminded of the time the best of the West Midlands was on show to the world, as a lasting legacy to the unforgettable Birmingham 2022 Games.”
Ian Reid, CEO of Birmingham 2022 said: “The response to the Raging Bull both in Birmingham and beyond was incredible and all Games partners have been keen to ensure that we were able to permanently display this Birmingham 2022 icon in the host city.
“We would like to say a big thank you to Network Rail for taking on ownership and responsibility for the Raging Bull and we hope that his presence will be an ongoing reminder of the superb summer of 2022 and that he will continue to be a key attraction for visitors to Birmingham for years to come.”
Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “It’s fantastic that we have been able to find a home for the Raging Bull in the heart of the Proud Host City for Birmingham 2022.
“There were many stars during our unforgettable summer of sport and culture – but none were bigger and bolder than the bull. We had five million visitors to the city centre during the period of the Games and the interest has remained at a high level ever since.
“We are shaping plans to recreate the same exciting atmosphere we enjoyed last year because culture is a key part of the Games legacy and we will be announcing more details soon. I can’t wait to see the Bull back in Birmingham in such a prominent place. Congratulations to everyone who has made this happen.”
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games were a spectacular moment of collective celebration right across our region and nothing captured public imagination quite like that magnificent Bull. That’s why it’s such wonderful news that it will soon be making its triumphant return to Brum – taking pride of place within our iconic New Street Station. My thanks go to Network Rail for helping to make this possible and I look forward to this now beloved Bull being enjoyed, marvelled at and photographed by local people and visitors alike in the months and years ahead.”
The Raging Bull, a homage to the West Midlands’ contribution to the Industrial Revolution*, wowed crowds at last year’s opening ceremony and over the summer while on display in Birmingham.
Since taking pride of place in the city centre’s Centenary Square for several weeks, and latterly a temporary storage facility in Ladywood, the Bull is currently in a workshop in south east England.
It was never intended to be used after the games so designers are currently working on modifications to make the artwork more robust so it can be enjoyed by up to 800,000 people who pass through Birmingham New Street station every week.
New Street station could not be a more fitting place for the beloved Bull, with the station originally built 172 years ago and fundamental to the city’s industrial growth during the later stages of the Industrial Revolution.
The artwork was made from machinery from Birmingham and West Country factories, and was designed, built, and mechanised by a team of over 50 people from a UK-based special effects company.
More details of the Raging Bull’s return will be revealed over the coming months, with the sculpture set to be in its new home later this year.
Photo and video credit: Network Rail