Contributors Unite to help fund steel statue for Scunthorpe town centre
Britain’s biggest trade union Unite has given a major boost to the plan to build a 17 foot high statue honouring generations of Scunthorpe steelmen and women.
Jim Pearson, the chairman of the Scunthorpe Steeltown steering group, revealed the fund in the LLoyds-TSB Bank had now risen to £9,000 thanks to the latest £1,000 donation from Unite.
Retired steelworker and ex-Scunthorpe mayor Mr Pearson, 71, said: “We are now optimistic about reaching the half-way stage of £20,000 in the new year and then be in a position to get the work started.”
“We are extremely grateful for the support from Unite and its branches on the Scunthorpe Tata Steel works, which have already chipped in cash.”
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The trade union’s regional secretary, Karen Reay, said: “Our regional committee gave this £1,000 donation for this sculpture in recognition of the long, proud, and continuing tradition of steel-making in Scunthorpe.
“It will be a permanent reminder of the importance of steel-making to the British economy and Scunthorpe in particular, and the jobs it has created and the prosperity it has brought.”
“It will also be a memorial to the steel workers, and the skills and dedication they contributed to their industry.”
"Unite is pleased that the steel works in Scunthorpe is operating well and we will do all we can, as a trade union, to ensure that steel making is an integral part of the Scunthorpe community in the decades to come.”
"The continuing health of heavy industry is a vitjal component to the recovery of the British economy which can't be so over-dependent on the city and the service sector in the future."
The statue is set to cost around £40,000 will stand in the town’s Church Square and is due to be unveiled during 2013.
It will depict a man and a woman and a cycle all made from material donated by Tata Steel.
Barton sculptor Michael Scrimshaw, 41, has been commissioned to do the work.
Mr Pearson and his committee are now considering the idea from Unite of also using the statue as a memorial to steelworkers who have been killed in the industry.