THE final design for the Victoria Wood statue which will take pride of place in Bury town centre has been completed.

The full-size version of the 6ft 6inch sculpture has now been completed in clay and taken to a foundry in Banbury, Oxfordshire.

A wax mould will be made before it is cast in bronze prior to a planned unveiling in Library Gardens in either July or August.

A small-scale maquette of a statue of the Prestwich-born comic is currently on show in Bury Art Gallery & Museum as part of a new exhibition called ‘Happy’.

However, the statue is only a working sketch of the final version, which has been crafted by Graham Ibbeson, the man responsible for creating the famous Eric Morecambe monument.

While Mr Ibbeson insists the facial features are far from the finished article, the pose is the same as the final version’s.

The sculpture's design is based on the 1988 TV special 'An Audience with Victoria Wood', and captures Victoria clutching a microphone out in front of her.

Mr Ibbeson says he wanted to show the ‘Victoria Wood that people warmed to and loved.’

He said: “I have designed her as if she is standing on stage and she told a gag and is waiting for the warm applause of the audience.

“I wanted her not to be in character. I wanted it to be Victoria when on stage. When I put my proposal to the committee and family, they agreed that it should be Victoria as seen on TV.

“I never met Eric Morecambe, but I did meet Victoria so I wanted to put her character into it rather than the characters she played in shows.”

It was initially hoped that the statue would be ready in time Victoria’s birthday in May, but delays have pushed plans back a few months.

The final version of the statue has already been shown to her friends and family who have given it the thumbs up, according to the sculptor.

Mr Ibbeson plans to bring samples of the final design to Bury in a few weeks to show to the committee.

He said: “I have enjoyed it more than I thought.

“I get nervous when the family comes up, but I’m pleased they approve. I wouldn’t allow it to go until they did.”

Victoria was 62 when she died in April 2016, following a battle with cancer and Bury Council has found a site for the late actress and comedienne's statue in Library Gardens, Bury.

The Bafta award-winning delighted audiences throughout her career with her skills both behind and in front of the camera, becoming best known for writing and starring in the hit TV sitcom Dinnerladies.

There are also plans for Bury to host an exhibition devoted entirely to Victoria Wood’s life and career, to open in June this year.