PLANS to install a life-sized statue of one of Newbury’s most famous former residents in Northbrook Street have been submitted to West Berkshire Council.
The bronze representation of John Winchcombe II, who lived from 1489 to 1557, will stand 2.35m high outside 25 Northbrook Street, next to the Marsh Lane/Northbrook Street junction.
Better known as ‘Jack of Newbury’, John Winchcombe II was a renowned clothier and is credited with creating the first factory in England, bringing work to hundreds of local people.
Greenham-based sculptor Luke Webb said in the application: “It is designed to engage as many people as possible, helping to promote Newbury’s rich cultural heritage to both residents and visitors.
“I believe that bringing Jack’s story to life in this way will make the statue both accessible and relevant to the town.
“The aim is for this sculpture to become a catalyst for greater awareness of local history, promoting a greater sense of civic pride among the whole community.”
The sculpture will depict Jack standing holding a yard of cloth on his right arm while raising his left hand as if to “dramatically capture the moment he conceived the idea to scale up the process of dyed-cloth production”.
The plinth will be made of Portland stone and there will be a simple inscription carved into it.
The statue will be erected outside his former home in Northbrook Street and is expected to cost around £36,000 in total.
Newbury Town Council, listed as the applicant for the plans, will provide five per cent of the funding (£1,800), which is expected to receive match funding from the Good Exchange.
Newbury Town Council chief executive Hugh Peacocke said: “The project has the support of the town council and we look forward to seeing it progressed as soon as the funding is secured.”
Two metal bike racks in front of Ernest Jones in Northbrook Street are currently located at the preferred spot for the statue and would need to be moved.
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