THE campaign to celebrate the Jewish businesswoman Licoricia has taken a step forward.

Leader of Hampshire County Council, Roy Perry, unveiled the maquette of the statue, created by an internationally renowned sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley in London last Thursday.

Licoricia was an outstanding Jewish medieval businesswoman who moved in high society but was murdered in the city.

The city's Jewish community is raising funds for the statue to be placed outside the Discovery Centre on Jewry Street near the heart of the Jewish quarter.

They hope it will raise awareness of the city's Jewish links, promote religious tolerance, enhance the city of Winchester and commemorate a woman of national significance.

The unveiling of the maquette will mark the full launch of the Licoricia of Winchester Statue Appeal, led by its patron Simon Sebag Montefiore, historian, television presenter and author.

Mr Sebag Montefiore said: “The statue will be an important link for Winchester with its royal past and medieval Jewish community, and be a beacon of religious tolerance, and diversity.”

Mr Rank-Broadley said: "The opportunity to create a work of sculpture to celebrate Licoricia of Winchester was one I readily undertook. The siting of the life-size bronze sculpture near to the location of her historic home brings the past and the future together, it recognises the enormous contribution made by the Jewish community to English life and serves to inspire us today. "

Maggie Carver, one of the organisers, added: “We are absolutely delighted with the maquette and the local and national support the project has received so far. We are confident that the Statue will provide a lasting enhancement to Winchester, and an inspiration to all”.