A fundraising group has moved forward with its plans to erect a larger-than-life statue of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst outside the entrance of Two St Peter’s Square.
A planning application by Turley Design on behalf of the Emmeline Pankhurst Statue Project has been submitted to Manchester City council, detailing the proposals for a bronze statue, 25% larger than life size, surrounded by a low-level Portland stone meeting circle.
The statue is planned for where the square meets the junction of Dickinson Street and Back George Street.
The opening of the stone statue will face the Free Trade Hall, where the first public meeting on the subject of women’s suffrage took place in 1868.
The proposals stem from an initiative known as the WoManchester statue project, a campaign which aimed to raise the profile and celebrate the role that women have played in the city.
WoManchester started with a long list of 20 women who have made a significant contribution to the city, announced in May 2015.
From a shortlist, Emmeline Pankhurst was chosen by a public vote as the figure who should be represented in a statue.
This prompted a design competition with a shortlist of six sculptors. The winning design was Rise Up, Women! by sculptor Hazel Reeves, selected in April this year.
The group is currently fundraising for the £150,000 cost to create to sculpture, with a target of having the figure installed in time for International Women’s Day 2019. The figure would be only the second statue of a woman in Manchester, the first being Queen Victoria in Piccadilly Gardens.
According to the design statement prepared for the application, “the statue’s pose has been designed to convey Emmeline’s spirit and to inspire women today to use their vote and fight for their rights. Emmeline is captured in a moment of impassioned speech, arm outstretched towards the crowd.
“The domestic chair is practical. Suffragettes had to use anything they could lay their hands on in order to be seen and heard. But there is also a symbolism in bringing an ordinary domestic object into the public sphere for political purposes.”