PRESTON in Lancashire will soon have its own Wallace and Gromit bench in celebration of the animated duo’s Preston-born, Academy Award-winning creator Nick Park.
The bronze bench, based on the pair as they appeared in The Wrong Trousers, will be installed outside Preston Markets later this year allowing visitors to have their picture taken with life-size sculptures of two of film’s most famous characters.
It is the second in series of six ‘Pop-Up’ projects to be announced for the city’s Harris Quarter and follows the unveiling of plans for The MET – a new mobile event space.
The project has the backing of Aardman, the Bristol-based studio behind the hugely successful Wallace and Gromit film franchise and in which Nick Park has been a leading light since 1985.
The bench is being funded from a contribution of £1million (€1.1 million) in initial funding Preston received from the UK government’s national Towns Fund initiative for the Pop-Up projects which aim to encourage visitors back into the city after the pandemic, driving footfall and supporting businesses.
Commenting on the sculpture, Nick Park, said: “It is such a great honour for me, as a proud Prestonian, to see my characters Wallace and Gromit cast in bronze and given pride of place in my hometown.”
Designed by Nick Park and the team at Aardman in consultation with local sculptor Peter Hodgkinson, the bench is currently being produced at the Castle Fine Arts Foundry in Wales and should be in place by August.