Long-awaited DH Lawrence statue coming to Eastwood 'as soon as possible'
A long-awaited statue depicting literary legend DH Lawrence is set to be erected in Eastwood town centre ‘as soon as possible’, a council leader says.
Exciting plans for the town which include the new statue, a public swimming pool and many other improvements, are progressing smoothly but rely on the securement of a £10million windfall from the Government’s Levelling Up Bid.
Milan Radulovic, leader of Broxtowe Borough Council, told the Advertiser things should move forward quickly once the funding is secured.
He said: “The bid is progressing and the statue plan is still very much in place.
“We’re hoping it will form part of a wider regeneration strategy to make Eastwood more attractive to shoppers and tourists and just generally encourage a wider use of the town centre.
"We’ve got a number of people who have submitted design ideas already from up and down the country. It has created a great deal of interest in the arts world.”
Various locations are being considered for the masterpiece, including The Sun Inn, outside Eastwood Library or near the DH Lawrence Birthplace Museum on Victoria Street.
“There’s tons of support from businesses across the area who know it would attract an enormous amount of people into the town centre and they’re keen to work with us to develop the ideas,” Coun Radulovic added.
“We want to just turn it into action now – but at this stage until we get the certainty of the money from the Government, it’s all speculative.”
To bolster the Levelling Up funding, the council also received a £25,000 private investment and a great deal of community backing to help get the project off the ground.
But although the idea of a statue has had long-standing support from most Eastwood residents, the council leader said it is not welcomed by everyone.
He said: “There’s still some negativity we’ve got to overcome from certain factions. There are some people who don’t want a statue.
“The vast majority of people are behind the proposals – but that negativity does have an impact.”
Further regeneration plans for the town include the promise of a new swimming pool with amenities for people with respiratory conditions, a new medical centre and more disabled access.