Preston's Wallace & Gromit statue launch: when and how the public can get involved

The launch of a Wallace & Gromit bronze statue tomorrow will be kicking off a weekend of fun activities.

By Aimee Seddon
Thursday, 9th September 2021, 12:30 pm
Nick Parker, the creator of Wallace and Gromit and Honorary Freeman of the City.
Nick Parker, the creator of Wallace and Gromit and Honorary Freeman of the City.

Tomorrow, Friday September 10, the launch of the highly-anticipated Wallace & Gromit bench will be taking place in Preston, the home city of the animated duo’s creator, Nick Park.

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

The official media launch will take place at 10 am, when the Mayor of Preston, Councillor Javed Iqbal, and its creator, Nick Parkwill will unveil the sculpture in front of select guests, including local councilors and schoolchildren.

Many fun events are being held to celebrate the bench's launch.

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    Although members of the public can watch the media launch, the bench is not open to the public until 11 am, when visitors can then view and interact with the bench as they please.

    Visitors to the bench are being invited to use #WallaceGromitBench to share their photos online, and will also get a chance to meet the 'real' Wallace and Gromit figures, who will be visiting Preston Market at intervals throughout the day on Friday and Saturday.

    The bench's unveiling will kick off a weekend of family friendly events as the Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library are hosting Wallace and Gromit themed activities to mark the occasion.

    On Saturday 11, the Harris Museum are hosting Wallace & Gromit clay-modelling workshops, where an expert model maker from Aardman Animations will teach the children how to make their own model of Gromit to take home, and answer their questions about the animation process.

    Three hour-long workshops, open to those five and over, are taking place at 11 am, 1 pm and 2 pm, costing £5 each, and you can book your tickets here.

    On Sunday 12, the Harris Museum will also screen Wallace & Gromit films A Close Shave and The Wrong Trousers in a movie marathon.

    The hour long marathons are running from 11:30 am, 1:00 pm and 2:30 pm and £1.50 bookings can be made here.

    Speaking about the bench's launch last month, 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.