|Mining statue gets big boost
A local history group passionate about commemorating the borough’s mining heritage with a statue have been given a hefty £10,000 cash boost.
Wigan Council presented Wigan Heritage and Mining Monument (WHAMM) with the cheque, bringing them one step closer to their £150,000 target.
The money will fund a statue featuring a miner, pit brow lass and a child, which will sit near Wigan Town Hall - the borough’s former mining college.
The £10,000 donation from the council follows a £7,000 donation in 2017 from councillor’s Brighter Borough funds. WHAMM have also been crowdfunding, which encourages the public to donate as much or as little as they can.
WHAMM, which is a branch of Wigan Local History and Heritage Group, commissioned Hull-based sculptor, Steve Winterburn whose recent work locally includes the Billy Boston statue on Believe Square.
Neil Cain, treasurer of WHAMM, said: “Anyone who has a connection with Wigan has likely had an ancestor work in the pits. Mining in Wigan district was first documented in the 1300’s so there’s a strong history here.
“We believe there have been around 3,000 plus deaths through accidents in the pits and some workers have endured long-term health complications as a result. It’s because of all these reasons why we need this statue. We want to commemorate the centuries of heritage, the people who suffered and also the incredible contribution Wigan had to the industrial revolution.
“We have had so many generous donations and we are so humbled by the support we’ve received, however, we still need approximately £40,000.
“We can’t thank the council enough for their fantastic support since the beginning of this project and the money they have pledged has gone an extremely long way.”
Mayor of Wigan Borough, Councillor Bill Clarke said: “I speak for myself and the rest of Wigan Council when I say we’re happy to support this fantastic project.
“Wigan Borough is filled to the brim with proud residents and it’s because of this I hope everybody will donate to this worthwhile cause.”
WHAMM has been a registered charity since January 2017 and has received other donations from the likes of Heinz, the National Union of Miners and more.
If you’d like to donate to the page, visit www.wiganminingstatue.org.uk where you will find a link to the group’s JustGiving page.