The countdown has started for the unveiling of a statue celebrating the women who work in Carlisle's famous biscuit factory.

Sculptor Hazel Reeves has designed the cracker packer statue, which will be unveiled on March 8 in Paddy's Market, off Caldewgate.

She visited Carlisle earlier this week to see the installation of a granite plinth which will be a base for the statue.

The two Cracker Packers, the name given to workers at the former Carr’s biscuit factory, will be standing on a bronze Carr’s Table Water biscuit, with the distinctive Carr’s signature logo embossed into it.

The total height of the statue and its base, with granite plinth, is just over one and a half metres.

Privately funded, the cracker packer bronze statue depicts two biscuit factory women workers - one from past times and one from the modern day - dressed in their respective factory uniforms.

Hazel worked with current and former cracker packers to develop the statue, with the support of Carlisle City Council, pladis and Cumbria County Council Archives.

The statue is privately funded, including a contribution from pladis, £65,000 from Sainsbury’s (as part of their development of a Carlisle superstore) and £5,000 from author Hunter Davies, who has a keen interest in the history of the McVitie’s site. He also wrote a book about workers at the factory.

A ‘Spirit of the Cracker Packers’ exhibition, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, has been drawn together by current and past Cracker Packers with the support of Tullie House and Carlisle City Council.

This will tell the stories of the Cracker Packers and their work at the factory and the development of the statue.