A STATUE inspired by LS Lowry has been created by apprentices at a Darwen engineering company and is set to become a seaside attraction.

The work celebrates Lowry’s painted matchstick man and his dog and will be at Knott End on the Lancashire coast when it is unveiled next week.

The apprentices come from WEC Group’s training academy and Philip Orme, the mayor of Preesall, was able to see the work taking shape.

He said: “The design is fantastic. The idea is to get more people into the village and to give them something to look at. We’re really looking forward to seeing the completed work.”

The statue, which will be the third sculpted in tribute to LS Lowry in the UK, uses stainless steel and will stand more than five feet tall on the ferry slip site which the artist used in several of his paintings.

The project has been overseen by Tom Elliot, divisional manager at WEC Group’s m-tec arm, which specialises in architectural metalwork fabrication.

He said: “We hope a lot of people show up to the unveiling as it is a significant part of the area’s history.

“It’s fantastic to have helped create a piece of work honouring a true Northern genius.”

The £5,000 project, funded by Preesall Town Council and Wyre Borough Council, is the latest in a series of high-profile jobs.

These have included a stainless steel arch war memorial honouring those who served in the Great War which was officially opened by Prince Harry in Folkestone last year.

The apprentices have also restored a historical weathervane for a Darwen church after the original was damaged in a storm and they manufactured the iconic Darwen Spitfire Memorial Sculpture.

Kris Mercer, WEC training and development manager, said: “The Lowry statue has been a really interesting and rewarding project and it helped them put skills into practice.”

The statue will be unveiled to visitors for the first time at a ceremony on September 11 at 2pm.