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4th Jul, 2022

Cycling charity to relaunch Portrait Benches campaign in Leamington

RESIDENTS in Leamington are being called on by cycling charity Sustrans to have their say on who should be immortalised in steel.

The charity – which advocates bike-riding and improvements to the National Cycle Network – is bringing its Portrait Benches campaign to the town in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

From famous authors or Olympians, to celebrities, businesspeople and pillars of the community, Sustrans has already installed over 250 of these life-sized sculptures across the UK, with the last one unveiled over 11 years ago.

Thanks to new funding from the Department for Transport, residents across the town are being given the opportunity to nominate who they think these new benches should represent from the past 70 years – people both alive or passed.

Spokeswoman Clare Maltby explained: “The National Cycle Network is a wonderful asset – providing paths for people to access nature, connecting communities and bolstering economies. We want as many people as possible to access the Network to walk, wheel, cycle, or run.

“The Portrait Benches are a great way to recognise the local cultures and heritage on the paths, and add a bit of interest. We’re thrilled to be inviting the public once again to have their say on who the new figures will represent. Nominating is simple and takes just a few minutes but will provide us with valuable insight on who our local community feels would be most deserving of this special recognition.”

Nominations for the Portrait Benches will be reviewed by Sustrans alongside dedicated partners, with each confirmed figure agreed on and the final design approved. Renowned artist Katy Hallett will fabricate each piece, with official installation and unveiling to be carried out later this year.

Nominations close on April 11 and can be placed at www.sustrans.org.uk/campaigns/portrait-benches-project-2022.

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