150 years commemoration of Gandhi in Manchester chimes nicely for BAM’s own anniversary

BAM Construction North West has installed a nine-foot hand-crafted bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi in front of Manchester Cathedral.

The statue’s unveiling (Monday 25th November) takes place in front of a large crowd and VIP audience.

The three-quarter tonne commemorative statue marks what would have been Gandhi’s 150th birthday, uncannily chiming with Royal BAM Group’s own year of origin.

Gandhi is closely associated with India’s (and Pakistan’s) independence in 1947, and was renowned for his use of non-violent protests.

It was sheer co-incidence that BAM became involved, says Rob Hannay, BAM’s business development manager.

“The Manchester Shrimad Rajchandra Mission was looking for a location by Manchester Cathedral. Our team is building 100 Embankment opposite.

“They approached us, and we thought it was a great opportunity to do something positive to enhance the city.

“We’ve worked with two firms to make it happen, Adana Construction in Stockport, and structural engineers, Ramboll. Adana housed the statue which was cast in India and conducted exploratory digs, while we liaised with the council to get it through a raft of permissions, and together we’ve created foundations, a plaque and conducted the installation. Ramboll has advised us on the lifting protocol and provided the foundations drawings.”

Ram V Sutar, who has carved all the statues in the Indian Parliament and whose Gandhi carving has been installed in 300 cities worldwide, is the celebrated sculptor behind the artwork which has been organised by the Manchester Shrimad Rajchandra Mission.

“The Mission has organised a multi-faith service in the Cathedral, followed by unveiling, plus music and dance,” adds Rob. “There will be a VIP guest list, and the scheme has the backing of Manchester City Council.”  Rob himself is one of those giving a reading as a member.

“The combined assistance from us all has been provided free of charge as a gift to our city.”

Stuart Prosser, BAM’s construction manager at 100 Embankment for developer Ask, says the office scheme is on time and BAM plans to hand over next May. He and his team are pictured conducting the installation.