A FUNDRAISING drive has been launched in a bid to keep a popular Oor Wullie statue in Barrhead.

Two models of the much-loved cartoon character have been based in the town as part of the nationwide Big Bucket Trail, which has seen 200 statues with various illustrations displayed across Scotland.

Barrhead’s involvement in the public art trail has been hailed as a big success, with many residents enjoying the chance to take snaps next to the statues in place at Allan’s Corner and outside the town’s train station.

The artwork at Allan’s Corner has been dubbed Buzzin’, as it shows Oor Wullie covered in bees.

Buzzin’ was designed by artist Bronwyn Gilgallon to highlight concerns over a decline in the population of bees, which perform a vital role in the ecosystem.

The other statue, dubbed Gold Oor Wullie, is a gold-dipped representation of the iconic character that has proved popular with passengers heading to and from the station.

The art trail, which has raised cash for children’s hospitals, ended at the weekend, with all of the statues heading to the SEC campus, in Glasgow, for a farewell event from Friday, September 13, to Sunday, September 15.

But bosses at All About Barrhead – the town’s Business Improvement District (BID) organisation – are urging local people to support a crowdfunder with the aim of raising enough money to secure the Buzzin’ statue at auction.

All of the Oor Wullie statues will be auctioned off on Friday, September 20, at Kelvingrove Art Gallery.

And BID manager Andy Dunlop is keeping his fingers crossed that Barrhead can become the permanent home of Buzzin’.

He said: “When we first got involved with the project, we didn’t really know how it would go but we did think it would be good to bring these iconic statues to the town.

“Every time you go past the statues, there’s someone taking a picture or kids climbing on them – and we just really want to keep one now.

“I think the thing about Buzzin’ is it has the local aspect, as the artist lives in Darnley.

“We’d like to have a bit of a legacy from the art trail in the town and we obviously love supporting the charities the trail has raised money for.

“All About Barrhead will make a contribution to the fund to try to ensure the statue stays in Barrhead. I’m confident we will reach our goal.”

The BID is aiming to raise £2,000 ahead of the auction and, if successful, there will then be a discussion as to where the statue should be permanently placed.

All money raised from the auction will be donated to children’s hospital charities in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

To play a part in the bid to keep Buzzin’ in Barrhead, visit HERE.