PLANS to install three sculptures aimed at celebrating the town's history have been given the green light.

Artist Bruce Williams has been commissioned by Reading Borough Council to build the public art features, using inspiration from the local schoolchildren, dinner ladies and youth football clubs.

Mr Williams, who created the Oscar Wilde Memorial Walk on Chestnut Walk in 2000, has been out in the community gathering ideas and material for the project, which is expected to cost hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Tesco contributed £81,800 as part of a s106 agreement to secure warehouse distribution on Imperial Way, with a further £323,000 expected to be spent on transport and improvements to infrastructure.

Councillor Rachel Eden, a member of Whitley Public Art Project Steering Group, explained: "We asked the artist to work with the community to create something that local residents can feel connected to and be proud of.

"The designs are a real celebration of Whitley and capture the history and spirit of the area particularly well."

Dinner ladies and children from Geoffrey Fields Primary School and Rabson's Rovers are all expected to feature in the artwork.

In addition, a frame on the Engineers Arms Roundabout will depict a group of Whitley schoolchildren and their headteacher.

Members of the council's planning applications committee agreed to install the first two pieces of artwork at a meeting on September 6.

Councillor Liz Terry, lead member for Neighbourhoods, added: "Whitley has a strong sense of community and pride and it is important that residents feel part of this public art project.

"Artist Bruce Williams has spent a considerable amount of time meeting members of the community and carrying out research into the area and it is quite right that his work features the people of the area."

Council officers were delegated to approve the third and final sculpture when an appropriate site had been confirmed.