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Grant to help fund iconic A3 roadside sculpture to mark G F Watt’s 200th birthday

28th August 2019

Last night the Executive approved a £40,000 grant to the Watts Gallery Trust to help towards the cost of installing a cast of the famous sculpture, Physical Energy, alongside the A3 at Compton.

Cllr James Steel, Lead Councillor for Leisure, Heritage and Tourism, says: “Our varied cultural heritage is a major local attraction and Watts Gallery celebrates this very important artist, with many thousands of visitors each year. Helping towards the costs of this inspirational piece of public art will benefit tourism and our economy, as well as creating a striking new landmark to be proud of. Effectively Guildford’s Angel of the North’.

“One of our key priorities is to support the borough’s arts, leisure and culture and this exciting project will provide many benefits. When finally in place, this sculpture of a man and horse will be fully accessible for visitors and residents, providing an impressive addition to the wider landscape for everyone to enjoy.”

To celebrate the bicentenary of G F Watts in 2017, the Watts Gallery Trust launched a fundraising campaign to commission a new bronze cast of his famous sculpture, Physical Energy. The intention is to site the sculpture on the hillside at the edge of the Watts Gallery later this year.

The Gallery in Compton provides opportunities for visitors to explore the work of G F Watts and his wife, Mary, in the place where they lived and worked. The Watts Gallery Trust, which owns the estate, is an arts and education charity.

For more information about the Physical Energy project please visit

To view the Executive meeting agenda and watch a webcast of the debate online please visit