A sculpture of The Mayflower is to be installed on a roundabout on the approach to Harwich as part of the town’s celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the ship’s sailing.

An artist’s replica of the ship, which took the Pilgrim Fathers to America in 1620, will be put on the roundabout in Parkeston which is the first one reached by visitors exiting Harwich International Port. It will form a key landmark to visitors to Harwich, and is part of the Mayflower 400 programme of works. Harwich, co-ordinated by Tendring District Council (TDC) with partners including the Harwich and Dovercourt Tourism Group, is part of a national compact looking to attract visitors to the town during the 400th anniversary of the ship’s sailing from Harwich to the New World.

TDC confirmed funding for the creation and installation of the sculpture late last year, with up to £45,000 committed to the project, and now a scale model of the artwork has been produced. Essex County Council has already carried out the required groundworks at the roundabout, as part of its commitment to the Mayflower 400 celebrations. It is hoped the sculpture will be put in place in Spring 2019, but installation will be weather dependent.

Zoe Fairley, TDC Cabinet Member for Investment and Growth, said it was fitting the decision to release the funding was made on Thanksgiving – the date Americans celebrate the arrival of The Mayflower on their shores.

“We are really gearing up our efforts now to make Harwich a top tourist destination for 2020, based around The Mayflower, and for decades beyond that with all it has to offer,” Cllr Fairley said.

“This striking sculpture will really act as a gateway to Harwich for visitors, and I look forward to seeing the finished artwork from artist husband and wife collaborators Hanman Murphy. This project has been some time in the making, but now is the right time to install it to have an impact as build up to the Mayflower 400 celebrations in 2020. It will also improve the public realm in general for residents, businesses and tourists.”

Since the funding was approved the required agreements have been signed and a final model of the sculpture agreed before work began on the finished piece.