Statue of DH Lawrence finally coming to Eastwood in bid to put town on tourist map
Plans to erect a life-size tribute to DH Lawrence in Eastwood look set to become a reality after it has been revealed that £25,000 has been earmarked for the project.
A recent campaign to place a bronze statue to celebrate the author’s heritage has now gained genuine momentum after Broxtowe Borough Council confirmed it has received £25,000 of outside investment to help get the project off the ground.
After the campaign was set up last month by resident Gavin Gillespie, a few possible locations for the statue have been suggested, including The Sun Inn, outside Eastwood Library or near the DH Lawrence Birthplace Museum on Victoria Street.
Coun Milan Radulovic, leader of Broxtowe Borough Council, said the statue will make a great centrepiece for the town.
He said: “People like a focus, like the Brian Clough statue in Nottingham city centre. They stand outside it and get their picture taken. Then they show their family and friends all over the world.
“This is the same thing. They can send it to their relatives in Canada and America and say ‘look I was in Eastwood’.”
The council is also applying to the Government for extra cash so it can further capitalise on the famous writer’s connection to the town, with ideas for a DH Lawrence walking tour also being considered.
It is in the process of submitting a £10million pound application to the Government’s Levelling Up fund, which supports town centres with extra cash.
Coun Radulovic added: “The funding would capitalise on DH Lawrence’s reputation. We want to make Eastwood like Beeston, a destination not just a town.
“But if we don’t get it we are still looking to go ahead with the statue.”
News that the statue is definitely going to be built has been welcomed by campaign organiser Gavin Gillespie.
He said: “It doesn't really matter to me who funds it, the important thing is that we get the statue.
“But I also hope the council takes into consideration the views from those 150 people that made suggestions on the Eastwood and Kimberley Bygones Facebook page, and that they also consider Andrew Lilley as the sculptor.
"He has been very helpful in the campaign and would still love to create the statue for Eastwood.”