A FUND has been launched to create a permanent memorial to Welsh Formula 1 driver Tom Pryce.

The £50,000 fund was officially announced on Pryce’s 70th birthday, and the money will be used to erect a statue as a lasting memorial to the rising star who died in a tragic accident in the 1977 South African Grand Prix.

This will be situated in his home town of Denbigh, where Pryce still enjoys legendary status.

The launch ties in with the build up to the Historic Sports Car Club’s race meeting at Anglesey which runs from July 13-14 and will celebrate the life of the local hero.

To mark the event, an original Pryce painting by renowned motor sport artist Andrew Kitson will be presented to the aggregate winner of the XL Aurora Trophy races at the event.

Fund organisers want to “inspire future generations to follow their dreams” as well as creating a permanent memorial to the driver, with the project also receiving considerable support from leading businessman Mario Kreft MBE, who stressed that they were “not looking for any public money” for the statue.

Talented sculptor Nick Elphick is working on the project and is keen to make an “interactive piece of public art” which people can use to take selfies.

There is already a mural celebrating his achievements in nearby Ruthin and a stretch of track at the Anglesey Circuit is named the Tom Pryce Straight in his honour.

Cllr Gaynor Wood-Tickle, mayor of Denbigh, said: “I think the appeal to create a special piece of public art to remember Tom is absolutely wonderful.

“No matter what young people want to do, they need things to inspire them and this can only be a good thing for the town of Denbigh.”

A website, a Facebook page and a Go Fund Me page have been set up and donations can now be made via www.gofundme.com/tom-pryce-appeal.