Breakdown of costs for unveiling of Grantham Margaret Thatcher statue revealed
A breakdown of the estimated £100,000 cost of the Margaret Thatcher statue unveiling event in Grantham has been revealed by South Kesteven District Council.
The £300,000 bronze statue of the Iron Lady, which will sit on a 10ft plinth (making it 20ft tall overall), on St Peter’s Hill green, was brought to the town by Grantham Museum, SKDC and the Public Memorials Appeal.
SKDC’s leadership previously agreed plans to underwrite an estimated £100,000 unveiling, attempting to reassure critics the money would be recuperated through fund-raising. However, a scrutiny committee later called on the cabinet to show how that can be done.
An estimated £50,200 will go towards external events organisation such as production and account management, audio/media for guests, staging, seating, an unveiling mechanism and crew labour.
Approximately £24,250 will include essential costs for public safety such as medical support, stewarding/security, barriers, road closures, guest refreshments, event infrastructure and pre-event security.
There is also an optional extra cost of £35,040, which is not included in the £100,000, that could go towards a sound system, stage lighting, shelter for the seated area, a web page with live streaming as well as filming and editing of the event and promotional material.
If this is included, the event is looking at an estimated cost of £109,490.
There will be a private fund-raising appeal to raise money for the event and any surplus is hoped to go towards the statue maintenance, local projects and a donation to the Grantham Community Heritage Association, which runs Grantham Museum.
It is proposed that up to 50 seats will be offered at the unveiling event for the biggest donors – with 200+ guests invited plus VIPs.
The details around the fund-raising appeal are yet to be finalised and the unveiling will not happen until after the coronavirus pandemic.
Councillor Kelham Cooke, SKDC leader, said in Tuesday’s cabinet meeting: “The unveiling of the statue provides a unique opportunity to celebrate our heritage and harness national and international interest to promote South Kesteven, as a visitor destination and attracting investment, all of which support plans to boost the local economy and regenerate the local area.”
In December 2020, Independent councillor Ashley Baxter, an opposition member, requested a call in for the scrutiny committee to reverse the controversial decision by the Conservative leadership.
Over 14,000 people on Facebook registered their interest in attending an egg-throwing contest at the statue when it is installed.