Tv and film stars back the Lawrence campaign

Valarie McHale at DH Lawrence Heritage Centre to turn on purple lights around the building to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer, she is a sufferer. Pictured here is the building after the light switch on.
Valarie McHale at DH Lawrence Heritage Centre to turn on purple lights around the building to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer, she is a sufferer. Pictured here is the building after the light switch on.

High profile figures from the world of television, film and stage have thrown their weignt behind a campaign to save Eastwood’s DH Lawrence Centre.

Rosamund Pike, Glenda Jackson, Gavin and Stacey star Mathew Horne, Mr Selfridge star Aisling Loftus, Billy Ivory, Ben Daniels, and tv sitcom star Robert Lindsay have all backed the campaign to keep the centre open.

In a joint letter to Broxtowe Borough Council leader Richard Jackson, the group asks that the centre is kept open past its planned closure date of March next year so there is time to find funding to save it.

The letter – headed up by Eastwood MP Gloria De Piero – says it would be ‘a grave error for the community and for generations to come’ and the council’s plans to close the centre would ‘deprive the area of a huge part of the benefits the association with Lawrence brings’.

Gloria said: “I’m incredibly grateful to everyone for lending their support to this campaign - it just goes to show how strong Lawrence’s legacy remains to this day.

“These stars recognise the importance of the centre, just like local residents and heritage and arts groups do and hopefully it will help persuade the council of the arguments for extending the deadline in order to ensure every avenue has been explored.”

The stars are all either from Nottinghamhire or appeared in a Lawrence adaptation.

Last month Gloria wrote to the leader of the council telling him she would like to find external funding to save the centre. She asked the centre was given a stay of execution for a year while she did so.

Whilst Cllr Jackson agreed external funding was viable, he did not agree to delay the closure date.

So Gloria organised a meeting between cllr Jackson, organisations that could potentially offer funding, and interested parties to try and persuade him otherwise. The meeting will be held tomorrow, December 4.

Confirmed attendees include representatives from the Arts Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Nottingham Writers Studio and the team behind Nottingham’s UNESCO City of Literature bid, the DH Lawrence Society, Nottingham University and a local mining historian.

The centre which is based in Durban House, was built in 1896 for The Barber Walker mining company and was once the wages offices for Brinsley Colliery, where DH Lawrence would go as a boy to collect his father’s pay packet. It is also a venue for the popular month-long annual Lawrence festival.