New cash plea for Wigan mining statue after unexpected problems

A crowdfunding appeal has been set up for the final money needed to install Wigans mining statue
A crowdfunding appeal has been set up for the final money needed to install Wigans mining statue

The campaign behind a Wigan town centre mining statue is going back to the public for a further funding boost after unexpected problems.

Wigan Heritage and Mining Monument (Whamm) is having to crowdfund for a further £10,000 as employing contractors and arranging the installation has proven more expensive than first thought.

It is an unwelcome blip for Whamm, which had hoped to unveil the statue this summer but now faces a delay of several more months.

The team has also been rocked back by the necessity of further fund-raising following a massive campaign to bring in more than £120,000, which recently included high-profile events with star of stage and screen Maxine Peake and journalist Paul Mason.

The final fund-raising effort is online and Whamm hopes generous supporters will put their hands in their pocket once more to help it across the finishing line.

Whamm chair Sheila Ramsdale, who is also a councillor for Douglas ward, said: “We’ve had a few problems. Contractors have been busy in schools over the summer holidays and we’re not sure we will have enough funds. The contractors think it will cost more than projected to put in place.

“It’s all become a bit of a nightmare. We were hoping to have it done and dusted for the end of September but it looks like it’s going to be the new year now.

“We’re trying to get a wider audience. Wigan people have been very generous and so has the council so we’re hoping this last tranche of money might come from people who haven’t given to us before, maybe who come from Wigan but now live outside the borough.

“We’re all feeling a bit down in the dumps. We had that fantastic event with Maxine Peake and thought that would be it.”

The fund-raising is to install in Wigan town centre statues of a miner, a pit brow lass and a child to commemorate Wigan’s industrial past and all those who worked in the coal industry.

Wigan Council leader Coun David Molyneux, who was due to meet Whamm this week, said: “We are very proud to have supported this fantastic project which will instil pride across the borough. I hope more people will donate to this worthwhile cause and help to celebrate the borough’s heritage.”

The deadline for the campaign is October 7. Find out more or donate at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/wigan-miners-statue