Business leaders are giving their backing to plans to build a memorial to Doncaster’s historic mining industry.
The Free Press is supporting a campaign to raise the £135,000 cost of the monument, through a crowdfunding appeal. So far it has raised £35,312.
Dan Fell, the chief executive of Doncaster Chamber of Commerce, believes firms will get behind the appeal, with many of the borough's current firms owing their existence to the mining industry.
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He said: “I think it’s a fantastic initiative for the borough.
“I think we need to acknowledge how many of our businesses have a legacy in mining. There are firms in this region who were initially involved in supplying the mining sector. It is part of their heritage too. There are a number of businesses rooted in supplying the mining industry.
“I think from the business point of view there is excitement for a number of reasons. It is also helping create additional civic pride.
“We hope that this finds an iconic piece of art at a high profile place in the town centre and helps our high street thrive.”
Karen Staniforth, assistant general manager of the Frenchgate Centre, where a half scale model of how the sculpture will look is currently based, said there had been a good reaction to the model.
“We’ve had a really positive response from the people who have come in to see it,” she said. “There is a real sense of pride and that it is something that we should value.
“Even when I was a child people used to still have coal delivered. Now I’m not sure kids know what a lump of coal looks like.”
The appeal lasts until October 26, and we are urging readers to pledge to the appeal.
The planned memorial will include a bronze figure of a miner, as well as sculptures of the faces of genuine former Doncaster miners
The 10ft mock-up of the proposed memorial design is on display in the Frenchgate Shopping Mall on the ground floor.
Readers can contribute to the appeal in four ways.
* Pledge online at www.doncastersminingstatue.org.uk.
* Send a cheque to Doncaster Council addressed to Doncaster Museum, Chequer Rd, Doncaster DN1 2AE.
* Cash donations will be accepted at Central Library, Doncaster Museum or Doncaster Civic Office.
* Make an in-kind contribution to any of the key elements to the project.