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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 September 2007, 03:37 GMT 04:37 UK
Wallace and Gromit statue planned
Wallace and Gromit
Wallace and Gromit have won three Academy Awards
A statue of Wallace and Gromit is to be built in Preston, Lancashire - the home city of their creator Nick Park.

The Oscar-winning animator is working on designs for a permanent bronze tribute to the pair.

Preston City Council must raise 100,000 to build the statue which it says would give a "boost" to the area.

Mr Park, who dreamt up the characters as a student, said the statue would be "a wonderful honour".

He said: "This is a really exciting project and I'm delighted to be working on the designs.

"As a Prestonian myself it would be a wonderful honour to have a statue to the characters in my home city."

Were rabbit

Councillor Ken Hudson, leader of Preston City Council, said the statue would have a positive impact on the city.

"We've seen how such statues and public art can create an excitement and boost for an area - for example with the Sir Tom Finney statue at Preston North End and the Eric Morecambe statue in Morecambe," he said.

"We think a Wallace and Gromit statue could have a similar effect and we will be working hard to secure the 100,000 funding for it."

Nick Park alongside Wallace and Gromit
Nick Park is an honorary freeman of Preston

Mr Park joined studio Aardman Animations in 1985.

Since then he has won four Oscars, three for Wallace and Gromit films, and is an honorary freeman of Preston.

The most recent Wallace and Gromit film, The Curse of the Were Rabbit, took 9.1m in its first week at the box office in 2005.

Money for the statue has already been donated by the council, Aardman Animations and developers Grosvenor Ltd.

It is hoped the rest will be raised from private sponsors and that the work will be in place by the end of 2008.

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