In a place affectionately referred to as Pig Square, the heartland of Neilston now boasts two impressive bull sculptures. These stunning works of art, commissioned by East Renfrewshire Council, has just been revealed to the residents and visitors.
These towering structures celebrate the rich local history, more specifically, the beginnings of the Neilston Agricultural Show. This annual event came about thanks to a spirited neighbourhood disagreement about who owned the superior bull. This lively dispute birthed a tradition that’s been observed since the early 1800s.
Funding from the Scottish Government’s town centre fund made it possible for the council to commission the creation and installation of this captivating public art feature.
Tasked with the design of these sculptures was artist Ruaraig Maciver from Beltane Studios. Having consulted with the community, Maciver was able to incorporate elements of the area’s historical and cultural significance into the design.
The Heron Bros managed the monumental task of setting the sculptures in place and providing the concrete plinth. This was part of a myriad of community benefits they offered alongside their Neilston learning campus contract, including creating 12 jobs, involving Neilston Primary pupils, and contributing roughly £12,000 worth of time and resources to community-focused endeavours.
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Planned improvements to the surroundings of Pig Square form part of extensive regeneration work in progress. Councillor Danny Devlin, convenor for Environment and Housing, expressed the significant part farming has played in the economic development of the area, saying, “The Neilston Agricultural Show is an important trading and cultural event for farmers from southwest Scotland each spring, so this fantastic piece of art is a fitting tribute to this heritage.”
In response, sculptor Ruaraig said: “A lovely project to be involved with and a chance for me to study this wonderful animal… I hope the people of Neilston enjoy their new companions.”
Other projects include the transformation of a former bar and restaurant in Paisley into a modern hotel. Council tax-related decisions have also sparked debates among Labour and Conservative groups. Be sure to keep abreast of the latest news in Glasgow and its surrounding areas.