FOUNDING member of The Jam Rick Buckler has agreed to unveil a public sculpture inspired by Woking’s rock legends.

The much-anticipated tribute sculpture will be opened to the public by the band’s drummer on Thursday, July 12, at 3pm.

Local residents are invited to join special guests at the unveiling at Barratt Homes’ New Central development in Woking. The new statue sits at the heart of this collection of 449 new homes which is part of a £250million transformation of Woking town centre.

Visitors will be able to get a first glimpse of this piece of public art that has evolved from a dynamic tribute to The Jam into a unique community project.

And 10 lucky readers and a guest have a chance to meet Rick at a special reception after the statue unveiling.

Almost a year in the making, the artist Richard Heys drew his inspiration not only from the band itself but also from local schoolchildren’s interpretation of the group’s music during workshops at St John the Baptist School, Woking High School, and Bishop David Brown School (formerly Sheerwater School where Rick formed the band along with Paul Weller and Bruce Foxton).

The Jam released their debut album, In The City, 35 years ago and went on to have a string of number one hits including Start!, Going Underground, Town Called Malice and Beat Surrender.

Barratt Southern Counties sales director Lynnette St-Quintin said: “We’re really excited to finally be on the verge of unveiling what we think will be a fantastic centrepiece to Woking’s renaissance.

“It has been amazing to see how local residents have got behind this project, demonstrating just how proud they are of their rich musical heritage.”

Richard added: “Creating a piece of art on this scale for a community is always daunting and given the legendary subject it was all the more challenging.

“With the enthusiasm from the students and the powerful input of the local community, I feel that together we have created something truly special that not only represents the personal achievements of the band but also the place in which they are held in the hearts of the people of Woking.”

The official unveiling will be followed by an exclusive canapé reception in New Central’s sales and marketing suite and 10 lucky Woking News & Mail readers are being given a fantastic opportunity to meet Rick Buckler at this VIP event.

The first 10 people to email their contact details to [email protected] will receive an invitation, for them and a friend, to the exclusive unveiling event.