A campaign to build a statue to the forgotten father of the Industrial Revolution has begun in his home city of Preston.
Sir Richard Arkwright, who invented the first mechanised spinning machine and pioneered the factory system in Britain, is to be immortalised in bronze if an appeal fund can raise £100,000.
Campaigners say the only visible memorial in Preston to the world’s first industrialist is a small blue plaque on the wall of Arkwright House, hidden away in Stoneygate behind the city’s main shopping street.
While other historical figures from the Industrial Revolution, like James Watt, George Stephenson, Michael Faraday and Isambard Kingdom Brunel, have been honoured with monuments, Arkwright’s significant contribution has gone unrecognised.
Wilf Boardman, chair and co-founder of the statue appeal, said: “We need to raise £100,000 to make this happen. Tony Slater (appeal organiser) and myself have been working hard to achieve this vision, but we can’t do it alone. We want the business community, education, community groups and the people of Preston to get behind this project and help us achieve it.”
Arkwright was born in Preston in 1732 and was living at Arkwright House in 1768 when he developed the spinning frame which mechanised the previously hand-operated spinning process and revolutionised textiles.
Organisers of the appeal are to make bids to the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Arts Council. But they need to raise significant sums from local companies and individuals.
For full details contact Tony Slater, co-founder and appeals organiser, at email@example.com or on 01772 200181 or 07703475258.