When Mark Wallinger won the competition to design a sculpture in Ebbsfleet, Kent his giant white horse was hailed as a tonic to the nation in the form of the biggest piece of art ever created in the country and the perfect fillip to a people about to head into a collective recession. Established in the public mind as the 'Angel of the South', it seemed destined to do for the south of England and specifically the desolate Ebbsfleet area, what Antony Gormley's Angel of the North did for Gateshead.
However, the tonic to the nation is proving to be more expensive than anticipated. Originally estimated at 2 million pounds, the cost of the work has soared to 12 million. The organisers of the project – Eurostar, London and Continental Railways, and Land Securities – have provided seed funding, but will not make any further contributions. Spokesperson for the project Ben Ruse says the project can't last in fundraising mode forever and that organisers will have to take a view of where they are when planning permission for the work expires in April 2013.