Celebrations of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough’s historic anniversary will be used to create a long-lasting legacy.
A public statue of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and inspirational residential summer camps for local students at Keele University are part of Newcastle-under Lyme Borough Council’s plans.
The authority is leading celebrations of the 850th anniversary of King Henry II’s decision to grant Newcastle-under-Lyme a Royal Charter of Incorporation in 1173.
Simon Tagg, Leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, said: “A key part of this year’s celebrations is to look forward by creating a lasting legacy economically, culturally and educationally.
“Job creation at Chatterley Valley West and £55 million worth of investment in Newcastle and Kidsgrove town centres will make a huge difference to our communities, but we also want to make a lasting mark in other ways.
“The creation of lasting monument to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by an internationally famous, local sculptor, in the appropriately named Queens Gardens, will be a fitting tribute to a life of service, celebrate our connection with Her Majesty and become a future landmark in its own right. And it has been agreed to use the world-class university facilities on our doorstep to shape the future by actively encouraging an interest in young students for engineering careers in green energy.”
Staffordshire artist Andy Edwards is known internationally for his sculptures, including The Beatles in Liverpool, Sir Stanley Matthews in Stoke-on-Trent, Sir Alex Ferguson in Aberdeen and ‘All Together Now’ – an installation of opposing soldiers shaking hands over a football to symbolise one of the most famous events of the First World War.
The inspiration for the statue is photographs and footage of Her Majesty’s visit to
Newcastle-under-Lyme in 1973 to celebrate what was then the Borough’s 800 th anniversary.
Eleven individually numbered maquettes, each 16 inches high and made of bronze, will be made available as a very limited edition at £8,500 apiece to fund the final piece, which will be crafted at one-and-a-quarter times life size.
Andy said: “Of late, my commissioned statues have stepped down from the traditional raised plinth format and been installed at ground level.
“People like to interact more with statues these days, it’s become characteristic of a lot of my work. I think it’s a lovely expression of the warmth people feel towards the late Queen Elizabeth that I have been asked to create a new tribute in this format.”
The education legacy will use sponsorship from GivEnergy, an international storage battery manufacturer with a base in Newcastle-under-Lyme, which wishes to encourage the next generation of engineers developing advanced technology to come from local schools and colleges.
Students will take part in a bespoke annual residential course at Keele University, the GivEnergy 850 Learning Lab, to take advantage of both the company’s and university’s expertise to explore sustainability and green energy, as well as learning about the Borough’s history.
Jason Howlett, GivEnergy CEO, said: “At GivEnergy, we’re committed to using our resources as a force for good. Education and giving young people a chance are core to this commitment, sitting at the heart of our founder’s philosophy.
“Funding the GivEnergy 850 Learning Lab is enormously rewarding for us. Supporting young people who have indicators of socio-economic disadvantages is a cause we’re proud to get behind. We hope that, working alongside Keele University, the immersion in a real-life campus experience will foster a sense of self-confidence that university education is attainable for all.
“As Newcastle-under-Lyme celebrates its amazing 850-year legacy, we’re delighted to continue leaving our own legacy of giving back.”
Ant Sutcliffe, Associate Director, Higher Horizons, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with GivEnergy on what will prove to be a really innovative and engaging two days for some of the young people of Newcastle-under-Lyme. We will not only be celebrating 850 years of the borough, but be celebrating their talents, too. We already have so many fun activities planned for the residential trip.”
“The event will be free of charge, funded by GivEnergy and delivered by Higher Horizons at Keele University and activities will include exploring clean energy with Keele academic staff and GivEnergy, as well as computing workshops and more.
“Higher Horizons and GivEnergy encourage any teachers who have young people who live or learn in the borough to enquire about booking free places for them and their Year 10s by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org”
Lauren Huss, Head of Alumni and Supporter Engagement at Keele University, said: “Keele are delighted to help facilitate this initiative. GivEnergy are demonstrating the impact philanthropic support from local businesses can have on nurturing young talent within the borough.”