SIR Jimmy Savile is to be celebrated in Scarborough with a memorial on the seafront, it has been revealed.
A £50,000 appeal was launched today to fund the tribute, with members of the public invited to suggest what form the memorial would take.
Thousands of pounds for the permanent tribute have already been pledged by anonymous individuals since Sir Jimmy died at 84 last October at his apartment in Roundhay, Leeds.
It is hoped that the statue will become a major tourist attraction.
The appeal has been launched by the Scarborough Sir Jimmy Savile Memorial Group, which is inviting views from the public on the form and design.
The group, which comprises representatives from the borough council, the civic society and friends of the entertainer, has met twice to discuss ideas and possible locations.
There would also be a gilt-coloured plaque placed by Scarborough and District Civic Society on the wall of Sir Jimmy’s apartment on the Esplanade, if the residents give their backing.
The costs of the plaque will be paid for by a Scarborough businessman who wishes to remain anonymous.
An area of land opposite Sir Jim’s apartment, leading to the Spa bridge, could be named in honour of Sir Jim, the memorial group has proposed. Sir Jimmy chose the town as his resting place and was buried last November at Woodlands Cemetery, overlooking the sea.
Cllr David Jeffels, portfolio holder for tourism and spokesman for the group, said: “Sir Jimmy’s links with Scarborough were considerable.
“He had a home here for many years which he bought with his mother Agnes, whom he called the duchess, and was pleased and proud to have a view over the seafront and harbour.
“He brought much attention to Scarborough by organising the visits of Cunard cruise ships, and was popular with many people he met at cafes, or along the seafront, or when he took part in events such as skipping day on the Foreshore.
“He regarded Scarborough as the place where he could come and relax and developed close friendships here stretching back more than 40 years.”
Cllr Jeffels added: “It’s extremely fitting that we recognise his fame in Scarborough, particularly as the town is his resting place.
“A statue will become a tourism attraction in its own right and would attract people far and wide.”