Liverbirds Inc. has received initial funding from the Liverpool Commercial District Partnership for the statue, which will be erected in memory of the late Paul Rice, the partnership’s former chief executive.
Speaking one the eve of on the city’s 807th birthday, Bill Addy, chief executive of Liverpool Commercial District BID, said: “It is fantastic to see that Paul, who did so much to improve and promote Liverpool, is to be remembered at a high profile city centre location in such a striking fashion.
“The fact that it’s the emblem of the city and his beloved football club – his two great passions – is a fitting tribute.”
Businesses are now being invited to sponsor the new bird, which will then carry their names forever.
It will be located just outside the entrance to the busiest underground station outside London, which sees some 16 million passengers a year.
Rick Myers, the bird’s sculptor and a director of Liver Birds Inc, said: “The bird celebrates the new Liverpool and recognises the massive number of ‘firsts’ that have been achieved here over the years, arguably more than any other city in the world.”
Arthur Johnson, who is also a director of Liver Birds Inc, added: “The Spirit of Liverpool has proved a huge hit, particularly with ex-pat Scousers. We expect the 6ft bird to be a popular photo spot for tourists, football fans and shoppers.”
The Spirit of Liverpool Liver Bird already has a high profile. One was presented to the Queen as part of the Royal Liver Building’s centenary celebrations and support has been received from local celebrities including John Bishop and Peter Sissons.
Liver Birds Inc has also teamed up with BID and the charity Claire House to create a special trail of 2ft birds.
They will be available to buy and display next year, with a donation from every sale going to the children’s hospice
Paul Andrew, the third director of Liverbirds Inc., said: “These will be ideal for businesses to demonstrate their pride in the city by displaying them in their windows or reception areas.”
Work has now started on the Central Station bird and it is planned to be in place early next year.