Students have now joined the drive to honour industrial giant Sir Richard Arkwright in Preston.
An appeal has been launched by proud Prestonians to raise around £75,000 for a bronze statue in the city.
Appeal leaders Tony Slater and Wilf Boardman have urged the Lancashire public and business community to help them achieve their goal.
Preston-born Sir Richard, who invented the first mechanised spinning machine and pioneered the factory system in Britain, is seen as the father of the Industrial Revolution.
Now 47 architecture students at the University of Central Lancashire have been asked to work on designs of the area in and around Arkwright House, which could be one possible site for a statue.
The appeal, which was launched more than two years ago, has had some sizeable donations but now appeal organisers are trying to drive the project forward.
Tony, architect Mike Goode and tutor Des Fagan have encouraged the students to do their own design work.
They have been asked to come up with ideas for the area in and around Stoneygate, including a possible Arkwright Museum.
Tony said: “This is a great development. The Arkwright project has got people talking and now we have 47 students and their tutors talking about it and telling their friends and family.”
Appeal organisers want businesses and individuals to help them achieve their goal by making a donation.
Tony said the reaction to a recent Evening Post story about the appeal had been tremendous.
He said it was a tragedy that such a prominent figure in Preston’s history had not been recognised with a statue.
He said: “This man is a giant of industry. I can’t express how much he means to Preston. He started the factory system and he started it here in Preston.”