Shropshire Chamber of Commerce is backing a project to commission a new sculpture, recognising the sacrifices made by the county through the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire, Anna Turner, is hoping to gain enough backing for a publicly-funded sculpture to be placed in The Abbey, Shrewsbury.

The full-size sculpture will cost around £16,000 – a one fifth sized replica is currently on display at Shrewsbury Museum, and the public are invited to enter a prize draw, for a chance to win it.

There will also be a chance for members of the public to put their fingerprints on the main sculpture at the Abbey during September.

Shropshire Chamber president Mandy Thorn, who is also one of the county’s Deputy Lieutenants, said: “The Lord-Lieutenant’s vision for this project is to make a fitting tribute which will last long into the future to mark the period in which many people have lost loved ones and everyone has had to make extraordinary sacrifices in their daily lives and in their businesses.

“Communities on all levels have pulled together to get us through. From the dedicated work of health and care staff, through frontline workers in a wide variety of roles, to many people helping their neighbours, our communities have risen to the challenge.

“We also very much need to remember the people who have suffered and sadly died and to thank everyone for their enormous effort.”

The sculpture has been created by Paul Kennedy, who is based at Acton Round. He says he has created a design ‘to be reflective as well as projecting hope’, with the main circle representing the divine life force or spirt that keeps our reality in motion.

The void between the two halves is filled with coloured glass to represent a rainbow and is the symbol of hope and promise for a better future.

The bronze sculpture will be raised and grounded on Shropshire stone with a pink hue and tool marks from the original stonework in the Abbey will be replicated onto three sides of the base.

Richard Sheehan, Shropshire Chamber’s chief executive, said: “Shropshire has risen to the Covid challenge in extraordinary ways. Businesses responded to calls for support like never before, whilst the spirit of collaboration across society was and is amazing.

“It is fitting that we not only remember this but recognise the pain and suffering many have endured through the crisis through this wonderful sculpture. I am confident that business will once again come together to support this funding effort and help the Lord-Lieutenant to make this happen.”

The Lieutenancy has teamed up with the Shropshire Rural Communities Charity to assist in fundraising, and any surplus funds will be put to Community projects across Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.