Council approves funding for community initiative
A statue of the celebrated suffragette Emily Davison could grace Epsom’s rejuvenated Market Place after the Strategy and Resources Committee voted to help fund the project.
A group of local residents are leading a campaign to raise money to install a memorial to Emily Davison, who died in Epsom, four days after being knocked down by the King’s horse during the 1913 Derby.
The Emily Davison Memorial Project was formed at the beginning of 2018 (the centenary of women gaining the vote) with the aim to install a life-size statue of Emily Davison, sitting on a contemporary granite bench, in the Market Place. The team has been busy selecting and commissioning an artist and interacting with the various bodies necessary. They have also been fund raising, with the aim of securing the £50,000 required.
The project has been a community initiative and Epsom & Ewell Borough Council has supported the proposal; agreeing a possible location for the artwork (with Surrey County Council) and also agreeing to take ownership and maintain the statue once it is installed.
Councillor Eber Kington, Chairman of the Council’s Strategy and Resources Committee explained “despite a very active and positive funding campaign and widespread support, the Emily Davison Memorial Project has experienced difficulties in securing high level donations. At committee, it was agreed to use developer funding money, which can only be used for environmental improvements in the area in and around the town centre, to support the fund with a donation of up to £20,000, enabling the Emily Davison Memorial Project to unlock additional larger funding contributions to the project.
“The artwork will be an important monument in our town centre, referencing a key moment in Epsom’s history. I think it’s a piece that will engage the community and it will add to a number of statues of suffragettes installed nationally in the past few years”.
Sarah Dewing, Chair of the Emily Davison Memorial Project said “It is time that Emily Davison is properly recognised for the part she played in securing women’s right to vote. It is due to her sacrifice and that of many others that women today have equal rights in law and opportunities to fulfil their potential that Emily’s generation could only dream of”.
Public donations to the Emily Davison Memorial Project can be made via www.emilydavisonproject.org