A £60,000 bronze statue of Agatha Christie will provide a permanent reminder of the crime writer’s links with Wallingford.

The town council has agreed to apply for apply for EU funding for the memorial, designed to bring in more tourists.

The precise location is still being finalised but a likely position is near the museum in High Street, where there is a permanent Christie display, or near the Kinecroft.

In 2014 Wallingford stepped up its efforts to take advantage of the author’s connections with the town by launching a weekend festival. The next one takes place in 2019.

Judy Dewey, who runs the museum, and launched the festival, said she welcomed the proposal.

She added: “I think a statue in Wallingford of Agatha Christie would be really rather nice and people will come from a distance to see it.

“I’m pleased the town council is applying for European grant funding.

“Agatha Christie is an important part of the town’s history and the museum has a permanent display to explain that and her connections with Cholsey.”

Town mayor Lee Upcraft confirmed the statue would cost an estimated £60,000.

He said: “The statue would continue to bring tourists to the area who are interested in the author’s connections with the town.

“The precise position is still being discussed but we think it should go near the museum or on the edge of the Kinecroft.”

Agatha Christie lived at Winterbrook House in Cholsey from 1934 until her death in 1976 and there is now a commemorative blue plaque on the house. She is buried in the village churchyard.

The proposal for the statue is already provoking debate among residents.

Former mayor Alec Hayton said he thought the best location for the new structure would be Cholsey.

He added: “I understand that there is a proposal to have a seated likeness of the authoress located in Wallingford with the idea that it will increase the footfall of tourists to visit our town.

“The finance for the scheme is apparently to come from the European ‘Leader’ fund and some Section 106 money from local developers. The costs of ongoing maintenance to the site and any possible future damage to the statue will no doubt fall on the shoulders of Wallingford Town Council.

“Dame Agatha and her husband Sir Max Mallowan owned a house in Winterbrook which until recently was in Cholsey Parish and not in Wallingford at all.”

The crime writer was president of Wallingford’s drama group the Sinodun Players from 1951 until 1976. The museum is staging an Agatha Christie day on Saturday.