A Wallace and Gromit bench scultpure is coming to Preston this September

The bronze sculpture depicting the famous duo was created by Preston born Nick Park, and will be placed in the city centre.

Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 3:43 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 3:44 pm
BAFTA winning animator Nick Park was born in Preston and grew up in Penwortham before moving to Walmer Bridge.

On September 10, a bronze sculpture of Wallace & Gromit is to be installed in Preston, the home city of the animated duo’s creator, Nick Park.

The bench sculpture, which depicts a scene from The Wrong Trousers, will be given pride of place outside Preston Markets, close to the entrance on Orchard Street.

Facilitated by Preston City Council, this exciting new addition to the city centre has the backing of Aardman, the Bristol-based studio behind the hugely successful Wallace & Gromit film franchise.

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The bench was designed by Nick Park and the team at Aardman in consultation with local sculptor Peter Hodgkinson, and was produced at the Castle Fine Arts Foundry in Wales.

Mayor of Preston, Councillor Javed Iqbal, will unveil the bench alongside its creator, Nick Park who is also the Honorary Freeman of the City.

The bench's unveiling will kick off a weekend of family friendly events celebrating Wallace & Gromit, as the Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library will also host Wallace & Gromit crafting workshops on Saturday, September 11, and screen Wallace & Gromit films A Close Shave and The Wrong Trousers on Sunday 12.

Mayor of Preston, Councillor Javed Iqbal, said: “It is my pleasure to welcome Nick Park back to Preston to unveil this brilliant bench specially designed for the city, which I am sure will become a favourite spot to visit for residents and visitors for years to come. To celebrate this new Preston landmark, we have special guests coming to the city centre that will delight our younger visitors, as well as a range of family activities based in the Harris.

“I look forward to seeing the many photographs and selfies taken with the iconic duo over the coming days and weeks. This fun new addition to the city centre is a sight you don’t want to miss.”

The bench is one of five ‘Pop-Up’ projects being delivered through £1million of initial funding Preston received from the government’s national Towns Fund, which was established to help level up towns and cities around the country.

The Pop-Ups, which will bring together new temporary event spaces, artworks and improvements to public realm infrastructure, aim to encourage visitors back into the city after the pandemic, driving footfall and supporting the economy.

John Chesworth, chair of the Preston Partnership and the Preston Towns Fund Board, said: “Since we announced the bench was happening, we’ve had positive feedback from across the world. This is a fantastic story for Preston to have someone from the city who has created a global brand to have that success recognised with a sculpture thousands of people will see and interact with every day.”

Commenting on the sculpture when it was first announced in June, 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.”

Visitors to the bench are being invited to use #WallaceGromitBench to share their photos online.