A STATUE of Compo will help regenerate Holmfirth, a Kirklees Council spokesman has said.
The bronze sculpture of the late Bill Owen – who played Compo in Last of the Summer Wine – is planned for Kings Head Gardens in Holmfirth.
The statue will be the centrepiece of a £200,000 revamp of the area close to the famous Wrinkled Stocking Cafe.
Yesterday a council spokesman said: “We are involved in this because we see this not just as a statue, but as a regeneration which will benefit that part of Holmfirth.
“The existing garden will be landscaped and we will add seating, lighting, public artwork and a shelter, as well as the bronze statue of Bill Owen.”
Kirklees has set aside £200,000 for the revamp, with another £2,000 coming from Yorkshire Water.
The regeneration of the gardens off Huddersfield Road is expected to be complete by the end of next year.
Bill Owen played the character of scruffy pensioner Compo Simmonite right up to his death aged 85 in 1999.
The London-born actor became an adopted Yorkshireman and is buried in Upperthong.
His son Tom – who joined the show as one of the lead characters – first raised the idea of a Compo statue in 2003 and gathered £10,000 towards the plan.
It will not be the first time that Kirklees has erected a statue to one of the area’s most famous sons.
In 1999 the council unveiled a statue of former Prime Minister Harold Wilson in St George’s Square.
The statue of the Cowlersley-born politician cost £68,000, with £35,000 coming from the National Lottery and £33,000 from public donations.
The Wilson statue was the work of the late Midlands sculptor, Ian Walters.