The Birmingham Big Art Project is hoping to take a big step forward by drawing on the talents and expertise of experienced public arts curators.

The five-year project aims to deliver a £1 million piece of public arts that will help put Birmingham on the international map and perhaps even emerge as a tourist attraction in its own right.

The project is being spearheaded by Birmingham Civic Society as part of its centenary and is being led by its vice-chairman Glyn Pitchford.

“This will help this city’s reputation as a forward-thinking city,” said Mr Pitchford, though he also emphasised it was a “high risk project” that would take a great deal of time and effort in order for it to come to fruition.

Recent developments have seen the Lord Mayor of Birmingham Mike Leddy become patron and Birmingham City Council is backing the scheme, though it has said it will not be able to provide any funding.

There are also moves to set up a charitable foundation to channel the funding for the project.

Mr Pitchford is mainly looking to the private sector for funding and says a number of sponorship offers have already been made. He also stressed that no public funding will finance it.

“The money won’t come from council tax but from organisations and individuals,” he said.

Mr Pitchford said a calendar of fundraising events would be announced in the near future with companies also being urged to organise their own events in support of the project.

On Tuesday October 29 there will be a meeting of people involved in the scheme at Eastside Projects, a follow-up to the public forum held in the Council House in May this year.

The meeting will include talks from a number of high-profile curators with experience of delivering public art projects.

They include Sally Shaw, who is now head of programmes at Modern Art Oxford, but who formerly oversaw public art in London, including the well-publicised Trafalgar Square Fourth Plinth programme.

Mr Pitchford said her experience would offer a unique insight into the world of public art commissioning.

“She will explain some of the pitfalls and what she learnt from doing it,” he said.

Another speaker will be Claire Doherty, who is currently overseeing a major public art project in Oslo Harbour.

“These are people who really have caused public art to happen, through commissioning, getting the funding, and seeing it put in place,” added Mr Pitchford.

Going forward he said a steering group would be established and decisions would be made as to whether there should be a single artist chosen, a group of artists selected or an open competition.

He also stressed the scale of the task for all involved and said: “We still have to remind people that it is a marathon not a sprint and it is also a high risk project.”