WILTSHIRE Air Ambulance's plans to build a new helicopter sculpture at its new airbase in Semington is part of a fundraising initiative where families can use it as a memorial to loved ones.

The charity put forward an application to Wiltshire Council to build a six metre, 500kg sculpture that would sit outside its new base, which is currently under construction, at Outmarsh Farm, Semington.

People took to social media questioning why this had been put forward to the authority, but the charity said it was saddened that a 'few uninformed individuals' had criticised this move.

A spokesman for the charity said: "The Wiltshire Air Ambulance Helicopter Sculpture is a unique fundraising initiative to allow our supporters a chance to really be a part of the history of Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

"Costing £3,000 and being funded by a private donor, the sculpture will give individuals and families the opportunity to enshrine photographs of themselves or add a photo in memory of a loved one for a donation of £20.

"There is the capacity to create a mosaic of 2,000 photographs and over time it is hoped this will raise £40,000.

"The sculpture is being built by a local Wiltshire artist at cost, using mainly recycled materials, and gives flexibility to ensure this is an ongoing fundraising initiative with the public being able to donate and add messages long beyond our date of occupation of our new airbase at Semington."