People in Devizes have expressed concern about part of the plans to celebrate the bicentenary of the Kennet and Avon Canal.

British Waterways and the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust held a public meeting last Thursday to discuss the plans for the celebration in 2010.

Almost 90 people attended the meeting at the Corn Exchange and the proposal for two large permanent sculptures at each end of the canal, at Bath and at Reading, provoked mixed reaction.

The audience was told that £140,000 had been budgeted for the two sculptures but only 15 were in favour.

In contrast only one person objected to the planned fire sculpture, a work of art created out of waste wood and then set on fire. It is proposed this should be fired at Caen Hill in Devizes.

British Waterways already has a budget agreed for this.

Susie Mercer, marketing and communications manager at British Waterways, said: “The £140,000 is not money we have got.

“We are not taking money out of our maintenance budget to achieve this. We have to raise the £140,000 so we will be applying for grants.

“Apart from the concern expressed about the cost of the landmark sculptures people were generally very enthusiastic about the plans.”

A public meeting held in Bath was attended by nearly 50 people and Ms Mercer said people there loved the idea of the landmark sculptures.

Two more public meetings, in Reading and Newbury, are taking place this week.

The feedback and comments from each meeting will be reported to the event’s steering group on February 5.

Ms Mercer said if there was widespread opposition to the landmark sculptures then the steering group could consider revising the plans and creating less costly sculptures.