An image created for an April Fools jape may well have provided the inspiration for plans for a major tourist attraction in Torrington.
Great Torrington Town Council revealed last week it was spearheading a new project to build a cable car ride across the Torridge valley.
It would see a link created from Castle Hill to Rosemoor or ‘another nearby feature’, and would be similar to the Heights of Abraham cable car in Matlock Bath, Derbyshire.
The town council said the new tourist attraction could rejuvenate parts of Torridge, and have a considerable impact on the local economy.
A task group has been set up to explore the project and will be chaired by Councillor Margaret Brown.
Cllr Brown said the project was a ‘wonderful opportunity’ for the town.
“It’s been floated for a few years but never really followed up on. It was always bit of a joke to begin with but we’re now trying to turn it into a reality.
“The picture has been stored at Torridge for years, I was walking past it and thought it would be fantastic for Torrington.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity and lots of people are interested.
“We have to look for ideas to regenerate the town and to bring other people and businesses in to re-energise it. Everybody could profit from this.
“It could take a few years to develop but everything requires taking that first step – this is it.”
The project will undergo a feasibility study before being put out for public consultation.
The inspirational image was created by James Marchant in 2012 – originally as an April Fool for Torrington Cavaliers.
James, a local technology entrepreneur, said: “It was created without any real thought and has several things missing – it doesn’t even feature any cable cars coming back up to the town from Rosemoor!
“The fact it has become part of the inspiration behind a potential real project is quite amusing – though I do remember around the time of the prank, many people were excited about such a project happening within the town.
“Torrington is full of independent shops, history and attractions but I think in a time where supermarkets and the internet have damaged local town centres, towns throughout the UK need to explore new methods of pulling people in.
“There would clearly be environmental factors to consider, however, I feel on the whole a project of this scale could hugely benefit and increase trade within the town.”