£43k needed for Battle’s 1066 statue

Battle statue design SUS-160519-094450001
Battle statue design SUS-160519-094450001
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Battle Town Council needs to raise around £43,000 in order to build a statue to mark the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.

Last year the council launched a competition, open to all members of the public, to submit their ideas for a statue, based on the Norman invasion of 1066.

Battle statue design SUS-160519-095451001

Battle statue design SUS-160519-095451001

Sixty entries were received and the winner, an 80-year-old resident, received the most public votes.

His design was based on a drawing he initially created for the Battle of Hastings 900th year celebrations in 1966.

It depicts a Norman soldier being attacked by a Saxon soldier - an opening scene from the battle when a lone Norman was sent to test the enemy lines.

The statue will be built on the roundabout at the top of the High Street.

But at the moment the council is looking at a funding shortfall.

Speaking at Tuesday’s Battle Town Council meeting, Cllr David Furness admitted: “Funding is going to be a huge problem.

“The Arts Council is not at all in favour of granting money to public art.”

Other organisations are currently being approached for funding.

Last year’s Battle Festival artist in residence Guy Portelli will be responsible for creating the statue.

Once constructed, Battle Town Council would take ownership of the statue and would be responsible for its upkeep.

Cllr Jo Reeves said it was important residents could give their views on the design.

She said: “I personally like the simplicity of the image, but I think it’s important we have at least taken some regard of people’s views.”

She added: “I’m keen to make sure we have done whatever we have to do to ensure there is as much support behind the project as possible.”

Cllr Glenna Favell said: “It’s a shame we do not have three different sculptors with different ideas then you can put it to the public.”

Councillors voted to put £1,000 of the councils funds towards the ambitious project.

Cllr Richard Jessop said: “I think it’s quite important that the town council is seen to support this because to miss an opportunity of this magnitude and do nothing on behalf of the people of the town would be amiss.”

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