A LIFE-size bronze statue of Prestwich-born comedy icon Victoria Wood is to be unveiled in Bury town centre tomorrow.

Family, friends and colleagues of the late comedian, actor and writer will gather in the town’s Library Gardens at 2.15pm to see the statue, crafted by renowned artist Graham Ibbeson.

The statue - a joint project of Bury Council and Victoria’s estate - was funded in part by a Crowdfunding appeal set up by Victoria’s brother Chris Foote Wood. Many donations were received from Victoria’s fans from Bury and beyond.

At 2.25pm, Mr Foote Wood will make a speech, as will Leader of Bury Council Cllr Rishi Shori and Rev Kate McKenna of Bury Unitarian Church.

Actress Harriet Thorpe and comedian Ted Robbins - long-standing friends and colleagues of Victoria - will unveil the statue at 2.45pm, two days before what would have been Victoria's 66th birthday.

The unveiling will be followed by The Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band playing a selection of Victoria’s music.

Leader of Bury Council Cllr Rishi Shori said: “Victoria Wood touched the hearts of millions with her talent for comedy. That she came from Bury is an enormous sense of pride for local people, and we couldn’t be happier that Library Gardens, in the heart of our town, has been chosen as a place for this wonderful, permanent memorial to her.

“We are hoping that along with the people closest to Victoria Wood, including her family, close friends and colleagues, her fans from Bury and beyond will come down and join us on as we pay tribute to one of our own.

“The statue will not only serve as a reminder of Victoria's many achievements but I hope will also act as an inspiration to others to use their own talents.”

The free Victoria Wood Exhibition, currently running at Bury Art Museum, will be open as usual on Friday afternoon and Saturday, and will be open specially on Sunday.

It features hundreds of artefacts all owned by Victoria herself, including original scripts, song sheets, photos, costumes and even her school books from her days as a pupil at Bury Grammar School.