AN EMERGING artist plans to celebrate the River Weaver and Northwich's industrial past with her Barons Quay gateway project.

Rebecca Gouldson won a Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) contest to design a showpiece artwork for a 219m wall at the entrance to the regeneration scheme, which is to be built on a stabilised salt mine.

Shoppers will see the installation as they move along the travelator between the car park on Asda's roof and ground level, to be located on the site of Marks & Spencer's car park.

Rebecca's proposal is for a series of around 50 cylinders, some measuring a metre long, that will be made from mixed metals and suspended from the ceiling in the shape of the River Weaver.

The cylinders, which are based on the idea of mining shafts and core samples and inspired by Northwich's salt mining past, will be etched with images developed by the Northwich public through a series of workshops.

Rebecca said: "I'm slightly obsessed with historic industry and have been working with it as a theme since around 2011.

"I felt like this brief was written for me and I was desperate to get it from the moment I saw it."

The 34-year-old has been sifting through images and written material about Northwich's industrial past, particularly rock salt mining, in her research for the piece.

"The cylinders refer to salt mining in the sense of the idea of boring through the earth," she said.

"They used to lower people through shafts in the earth into the rock salt mines, they would fill their buckets and be lifted back up.

"The cylinders are also based on core samples that reveal the layers of history and the soil from different periods."

Rebecca will be mentored by Katayoun Dowlatshahi, the lead artist for Northwich’s regeneration, and is planning a series of public art sessions to develop an image bank for the etchings.

"Public engagement is integral to the piece, not an add-on," she said.

The finished work is set to be installed in summer 2016.