A clothing tycoon has donated £1,000 to the Sir Richard Arkwright Statue Appeal.
David Alliance was approached by members of the campaign, which aims to build a statue of Preston’s forgotten father of the Industrial Revolution.
Sir Richard, who invented the first mechanised spinning machine and pioneered the factory system in Britain, is to be immortalised in bronze if supporters can raise £100,000.
Baron Alliance, an immigrant from Iran who built Coats Viyella into a £2bn giant of the world textile industry, agreed to make a donation through his Alliance Family Foundation.
The life peer is now the chairman of clothing catalogue retailer N Brown and one of the wealthiest people in the UK, with an estimated fortune of more than £400m.
Tony Slater, appeal organiser, said: “This is a very generous contribution from Baron Alliance and a truly wonderful gesture. I am absolutely delighted with the way things are going.
“We are now starting to send out letters to local entrepreneurs and also a group of trustees has been formed. They are all well known Prestonians.”
Along with Mr Slater, the trustees are Wilf Boardman, appeal chairman and co-founder, Edgar Wallace, owner of the former Fives bar building in Guild Hall Street, Neil Cartwright, former Mayor of Preston, and Gerry Malloy, former Mayor of Penwortham.
The campaigners have opened an account at NatWest in Fishergate, where people can donate money to the appeal.
Other donations so far include £250 from the Arkwright Society and £500 from the Fort Foundation in Burnley.
Arkwright was born in 1732 and was living at Arkwright House in Lennox Street in 1768 when he developed the spinning frame, which mechanised the previously hand-operated spinning process and revolutionised textiles.
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.
For more information about the appeal contact Mr Slater at firstname.lastname@example.org, on 01772 200181 or 07703475258.