Bronze-cast statue of Tarka the ‘lucky’ otter is being installed by the Bideford Town Centre Partnership.

Plans are afoot to install a bronze-cast ‘lucky’ otter on Bideford’s Quayside.

The Bideford Town Centre Partnership has launched a £15,000 appeal for the statue, which it hopes will attract more visitors to the town.

The figure – which is one-and-a-half-times the size of an otter – will be made by artist Rowan Fawdon.

Fundraising has been kicked off with a £500 donation from the Businesses of Bideford (BOB) and Bideford and District Chamber of Commerce, thanks to Atkins Ferrie Wealth Management.

Tonia Quance, of BOB, said she hoped the otter would be installed by the summer, if enough money could be raised in time.

She said: “With Tarka the Otter being set upon the Torridge, we thought it was the perfect spot for the statue.

“People will be able to sit on the wall next to him and take photographs.”

“The otter will be holding a fish, because Bideford is still a working port with trawlers, and also we have a thriving angling club here.

“We want to show the diversity of the wildlife in the Torridge.”

Councillor Mervyn Langmead, Torridge District Council chairman, praised the partnership for all its efforts to boost the town.

He said: “I totally back the partnership, because we do not push things in this town enough.

“This will definitely bring people into the area.”

Tonia said she hoped the people of Bideford would back the project too.

She added: “It doesn’t matter if people only want to donate 50p, every single penny will help.”

For more information, pop in to Bideford Cobblers and Keys on High Street.