SHARKS, dolphins and shoals of fish could adorn roofs in Headington after a new grant pot was created.

Oxford City Council has set aside £200,000 for the project and hopes residents will bid for cash to put up large fish tails on their homes.

It is hoped, after the success of the Headington Shark in Old High Street, the scheme will boost tourism to the area.

More money could be available in future years and eventually the council hopes to create a trail of fish for tourists to follow.

The 25ft Headington Shark, nominated an Icon of England in 2009, was installed by radio presenter Bill Heine on his then home in 1986.

City council leader Bob Pike said: “We are fishing for even greater tourism. Oxford has lots of well known buildings but this would give us a unique tourist attraction.”

He said he hoped the money would create at least 200 fish-adorned homes, adding: “That would give us the global reach we are looking for.”

Mr Pike said fish could be installed, especially without creating holes in roofs, for as little as £1,500.

Headington city councillor Ruth Wilkinson said: “If it all takes off, the scheme will attract lots of visitors, and our shops will do great business.

“Headington Car Park will be so full that no one will put in a crazy scheme to build flats on it ever again.”

Headington city councillor Mohammed Altaf-Khan said: “The Headington Shark is an icon. This scheme will create lots of icons.”

He said dozens of tourists from across the world visited Headington to see the shark.

But Mr Heine, who presents a Sunday morning show on BBC Radio Oxford, said: “It is too little too late.

“The council has been idly sitting on this tourism bonanza for more than 25 years, and now they want to cash in and do it on the cheap. You cannot make a really good shark for only £200,000, much less a whole trail. I would say they need at least £500,000.”

Headington resident Paul Trout, 43, said: “We would like to know why the money is being restricted to installing just fish to homes.

“For years I have hoped to have a dozen horses galloping across my roof, but the astronomical cost has really held me back.”

Jim Krill, 67, a former fisherman whose trawler was attacked by a whale, said: “I moved to Oxford to get as far away from the sea as possible.

“Driving past the Headington Shark as it is causes flash backs to that terrible night and this scheme is only going to make that worse.

“You cannot imagine the trauma seeing hundreds of fish covering homes will cause. It will be a nightmare.”