A CAMPAIGN to install a statue depicting a pair of famous poets in Colchester High Street has been given a significant boost after a generous donation.

Sir Bob Russell, who is championing the effort, hopes sisters Jane and Ann Taylor can be immortalised in a cast bronze statue.

The siblings grew up in West Stockwell Street, Colchester, and it is believed they penned the world famous nursery rhyme Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star at their childhood home here in 1806.

The Essex Heritage Trust has donated a generous £3,000, which will contribute towards the statue.

Sir Bob says the donation means they are now closing in on the final £10,000 which is needed to complete the £80,000 project.

Sir Bob said: “We have planning permission from Colchester Council for the statue to be located in the High Street, diagonally opposite the Town Hall just to the east of Pelham’s Lane.

“The statue was made in clay last year, and a mould of this has also been made. As soon as the remaining £10,000 is raised the statue can be cast in bronze.

"If things continue with support such as this wonderful donation from the Essex Heritage Trust, then I am confident the statue will be erected in the course of this year.”

On the donation, Sir Bob said: “The donation from the Essex Heritage Trust is significant.

"Not just the welcome financial contribution, but also because it has been made by a distinguished organisation which promotes and supports matters of historical importance in Essex.

“I consider their support as being a seal of approval for the statue project.”

The statue, sculpted by Mandy Pratt, who made the sculpture of Colchester United legend, Peter Wright at the Layer Road development, will depict the sisters looking westwards, the direction they faced when gazing at a twinkling star from their attic bedroom.

The £80,000 bronze statue is set to appear on Colchester High Street later this year, after extensive fundraising.