TENTACLES will be taking over towns for a colourful octopus-themed public art project next year.

More than 100 giant painted octopus sculptures will be seen throughout parks and open spaces in the Harwich, Tendring and Colchester areas for ten weeks next summer.

The aim of the project is to celebrate Harwich, the hometown of Captain Christopher Jones, captain of the historic Mayflower ship, which sailed across to America nearly 400 years ago.

Next year marks the 400th anniversary of the voyage.

The octopus sculptures will engage local artists in designing and painting them, celebrating the creativity of Essex.

The project, called Octopus Ahoy, has been developed by Tendring Council and Milsom Hotels, in partnership with KAT Marketing.

Michael Carran, head of sport and leisure at Tendring Council said: “We are thrilled to be launching this exciting event for Tendring and beyond, and it is fitting that the start be hosted in Harwich, for what will mark the start of a hugely exciting project for one and all to enjoy.”

Paul Milsom said: “Octopus Ahoy is a hugely exciting venture that Milsom Hotels are so pleased to be involved with – we urge other companies to come forward and support where they can.

“Having seen what these projects can do, the more involved we become the more the project keeps giving.

“It really is an exciting time and something that truly everyone can experience and enjoy.”

Octopus Ahoy is being developed in partnership with KAT Marketing, which delivered the last public art sculpture event in Essex – called Stand Tall for Giraffes – which was in celebration of Colchester Zoo’s 50th birthday in 2013.

Katie Skingle, director of KAT Marketing said: “We are extremely grateful and overwhelmed by the sponsorship and support we have received so far.

“It is heartwarming that so many people remember the giraffe sculptures that were out on the streets of Colchester and its surrounding areas way back in 2013, when Colchester Zoo celebrated its 50th birthday.

“So, keep your eyes peeled as this project officially launches for more fun and activities, and look out for the outstanding art work that will be appearing around the area next year.”

The octopus sculptures will be on display between July 4and September 12 next year.

An auction of the sculptures to raise funds for Essex-based charities will take place at the end of next September at Le Talbooth, Dedham.

Octopus Ahoy will be launched on October 30, 2019 at The Pier, Harwich between 6pm and 8pm.

This business reception will be for patrons, and potential patrons, to learn more about the project.

The project has confirmed the sponsorship of Tendring Council, Milsom Hotels, Ellisons Solicitors, Galloper Wind Farms, Harwich Haven Authority, Palletwise Logistics and many more.

For more information visit octopusahoy.co.uk.