Final push for founder’s statue fundraising appeal

William Searle

William Searle - Credit: Archant

A final push is being made to raise the money needed to build a statue to Hunstanton founder Henry Styleman Le Strange.

Without his vision in the mid-19th century, the north-west Norfolk seaside resort would not be what it is today.

And William Searle, director of Searles Sea Tours and Leisure Resort, has been leading a project to build a £40,000 larger-than-life-size statue of the town's founder.

He hopes that, if £20,000 can be raised locally, it might be possible to secure match funding from other sources for the remaining £20,000.

He said: 'We have raised £15,500 so it's the final push now. We have received about £1,500 from locals, Searles put in £1,000 and the town council, another £1,000, and West Norfolk Council, £8,000, among others. And we have not asked some of the big guns such as Tesco yet.

'This statue will be for the whole community, so we would like to get the extra money needed as soon as we can.'

Subject to appropriate permissions, the statue would be situated at the top of the Green, outside the Golden Lion Hotel and facing out to sea.

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Mr Searle said the statue would be partly based on George Vancouver's statue in front of the Custom House in King's Lynn.

'It will be something similar to that,' he added.

'This town owes so much to him and it seems only right that he is acknowledged in this way.'

Alistair Beales, the borough council's cabinet member for regeneration, has called on the whole community to get behind the project.

And Brian Holmes, historian and lead member of the town's heritage centre, has been working with Mr Searle to encourage businesses, residents and visitors to make a donation to the project.

Mr Le Strange had a long-term vision for his home town to become a thriving seaside resort to rival Brighton and Southend.

? To make a pledge or a donation, contact Mr Searle by email at searlesseatours@ or call 07831 321799.

? What fundraising project are you hoping to get off the ground? Email david.bale2@