Should Derby move Historic Statue?

Following publicity in the Derby Evening Telegraph of the Florence Nightingale Statue being used for a lavatory public support is being generated and also a petition to get the statue moved.

The statue is a Grade II listed asset and though important to the city it is not the only historic asset which has been left marooned since the demolition of the Derby Royal Infirmary was completed early this year.

The site is also the home for a fine Grade II listed statue of Queen Victoria which was unveiled by King Edward VII in 1906, Grade II railings and wall which once bordered the hospital and London Road are also the Grade II listed Wilderslowe House.

Though moving the statue of Florence Nightingale might offer some protection to this one asset it will not help to preserve the others within the site. It would not be practical to move everything and is this really the correct way to protect heritage at risk.

Heritage assets should be viewed in their original surroundings and if it this surrounding which are at fault should it not be these which are given an improved status.

A possible solution would be raise the profile of the area and make it a part of the city which all would like to visit. With more footfall all of the assets could be appreciated in their settings whilst preventing the creation of another city area which is underused and suffering from neglect.

Whatever the council chose to be allowed to be built allowance should be made for public access and attempts made to encourage people to visit, view and use the assets. With a safe and welcoming area created the assets would be protected and importantly remain in their current setting.

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