MP Gloria De Piero and Sue Bagshaw, Mayor of Broxtowe, have written to the council to oppose plans which would see the town’s DH Lawrence Heritage Centre close its doors to the public.
Last week Ms De Piero launched a campaign to get a statue of Eastwood’s most famous son erected and celebrate the life and work of the writer – before shock news emerged that Conservative controlled Broxtowe Borough Council is due to meet on September 22 to discuss proposals to close the historic venue.
Earlier this year, the centre was shortlisted for a prestigious Heart of the Community honour at the East Midlands Heritage Awards, while the annual DH Lawrence Festival of Culture is just coming to an end which brings in tourists from all over the country and the rest of the world.
Lawrence remains a literary giant of the 20th century and following last week’s screening of the BBC’s adaptation of his novel, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, a whole new legion of fans have been introduced to his work.
Ms De Piero said: “Lawrence is undergoing something of a renaissance and we should do what we can to not only protect our heritage but boost tourism in the area and capitalise on this growing interest – not severe a link to the man who helped put Eastwood on the map.
“It would be a huge blow to the town if one of our biggest assets was to close its doors and I’d urge the council to think again and oppose these short sighted plans.”
Sue Bagshaw, Mayor of Broxtowe added: “It’s such an important building to Eastwood and it will be a hammer blow if we were to lose it. It’s a super place and I’d hate to see it shut to the public.”
The centre was threatened with closure back in 2010 just after Ms De Piero was elected and she helped lead the fightback which saw the local community, stakeholders, Lawrence groups and high profile supporters come together and successfully oppose the plans.
The Labour MP is now calling on people to sign a petition that she has set up to oppose the proposals.
“We’ve won this battle once and I’m determined to win it again and I will fight tooth and nail to keep the DH Lawrence Heritage Centre open. If you feel as passionately about our town and our heritage as I do then please add your name to it,” said Gloria.
To sign the petition go to Gloria’s website http://www.gloria-de-piero.co.uk/ or www.facebook.com/gloriadepiero