AN East Lancashire firm has gone global after it created a huge metal Earth replica for a city in Nigeria.

The WEC Group in Darwen has created the five-meter diameter globe to stand on a prominent roundabout outside the new University of Uyo in the African country.

The globe, which is tilted to 23.5 degrees and rotates by a hydraulic motor, has been erected in Uyo in the south-east of the country.

It was created by the Junction Street firm’s m-tec division, which specialises in architectural metalwork fabrication, after it was approached by the Nigerian government last year.

M-tec’s work can be seen in towns and cities across the UK, but this is the first piece of artwork it has delivered to Africa.

The structure took nine months to make and 19 days to reach its destination. After arriving by sea in the capital Lagos, it was shipped by road from one side of the African country to another.

The globe was created for South Yorkshire-based procurement company Branton Knight, which has been working on the city’s redevelopment for five years, supplying construction and civil engineering materials.

The sculpture was commissioned by the State Ministry of Works and Transport and members of the m-tec team were involved in its installation near to the State Governor’s Lodge.

Tom Elliot, divisional manager of m-tec, said: “We are well known for our expertise in stainless steel sculptures and we were contacted by an agent working for the Nigerian government one day.

“This is our first contract for the African market and we are delighted with the finished product.

“The globe looks absolutely stunning and has already become a major local landmark.

“It looks particularly amazing at night when it is lit by blue LED floodlights.

“The globe is the latest in a series of high-profile artwork which m-tec has been commissioned to create and, as with all our projects, our skills in architectural fabrication stand out.”