Thirty life-sized sculptures of Clydesdale horses are to be placed around a town next summer in a bid to boost visitor numbers.

Artists from across Scotland have been invited to decorate the statues, which will be set out in a trail of prominent places around Hamilton and the surrounding area.

Businesses in the town will be encouraged to sponsor a horse and, at the end of the project, the 1.9m (6.2ft) high sculptures will be auctioned off with proceeds going to Kilbryde Hospice.

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It is hoped the Ready Steady Gallop! event will attract thousands of visitors to the South Lanarkshire town, as happened in Liverpool, which hosted penguin sculptures, Norwich, which had gorillas, and Bristol, which had Gromit sculptures.

The project is being delivered by Hamilton Business Improvement District (BID) and Wild in Art, a company which has produced mass participation art events across the UK.

Hamilton BID manager Gareth Walker said: "This is the first event of its kind in the west of Scotland and it is going to be something really special for locals and visitors to get involved with.

"The spectacle of the horses will hopefully draw people from far and wide, and we hope to raise fantastic sums for Kilbryde Hospice.

"Wild in Art has created some amazing events in other towns which have drawn thousands to see their sculptures and we hope that our Clydesdales will be just as popular."

Local schoolchildren will also be invited to design at least one of the horses.

Charlie Langhorne, director of Wild in Art, said: "We are thrilled to be working with Hamilton BID to bring Ready Steady Gallop! to Hamilton. Our events are designed to bring the enjoyment of public art to thousands of people while offering new ways to explore a host town.

"We hope the industries and businesses in Hamilton will recognise the cultural benefits of sponsoring a sculpture as well as the positives for their own community. It will be a fantastic spectacle for the people of Hamilton and is an excellent way to raise vital funds for Kilbryde Hospice."