Published Wednesday 7 March 2018 at 15:01
International Women’s Day has been chosen to launch a funding campaign for new piece of public art in Blackburn to celebrate one of the town’s most famous women.
A short film has been produced about Baroness Barbara Castle to help showcase her contribution to the country and Blackburn
Supporters want to see a lifelike statue taking centre stage in the town centre. A possible location is in the square outside Blackburn College’s Victoria Building and the new cinema.
The fund appeal has been set at £50k to cover all possible costs. There is an existing £19k memorial fund.
The Council has agreed to work with supporters of the project to ensure that the statue can be commissioned and installed once the funding is secured.
Donations can be made via the site https://www.gofundme.com/BarbaraCastle
Councillor Maureen Bateson, who has been championing International Women’s Day in the borough, said:
I’m delighted to be supporting this funding campaign. As one of the country’s most famous female politicians the statue could quite easily have gone to London. Blackburn is by far the best place for it. She chose the title Baroness of Blackburn when she was invited to enter the House of Lords.
This is the perfect time for us to honour somebody who was such a force for good and a champion of women’s rights in her unique style. There is also a national drive to get more statues of significant women in history because very often women’s stories aren’t as prominent.
Groups and organisations across the borough have got fully behind International Women’s Day and a wide range of events and activities have been organised over more than a week. Highlights range from a coach trip to the London March 4 Women event, artwork including mural outside Blackburn Museum and a timeline in The Mall to courses to improve mental wellbeing, a talk about Darwen’s Prominent Women and a market place of information and activities in Blackburn Cathedral. The full listings can be found on the events page.