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Appeal launched for new statue

8th March 2018

Categories: Town Centre News

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.

Barbara Castle

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."

Barbara Castle always held a strong belief in her right to take her place in the male dominated world of politics.

She was first elected as MP for Blackburn in the Labour landslide of 1945. She quickly demonstarted what she was made of and by 1964 was appointed as Minister for Overseas Development. A year later she became the first woman to be appointed as Miniter for Transport and by 1968 she became Secretary of State at the new department of Employment and Productivity - one of the most important members of the government, with responsibilities far greater than those of any previous woman minister.

When she was born in 1910 women did not have the vote, yet by the end of the 1960s she was one of the four most powerful people in the country. She inspired a new generation of women to become active in politics and fight for equality and social justice. 
 
It was her belief that everybody deserved an equal chance, regardless of gender or race which inspired her to fight for reforms in the law.

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