Six artists have been shortlisted to create the Suffragette leader's statue in St Peter's Square

THOUSANDS of votes have been cast for six artists who have been shortlisted for the creation of Manchester’s Emmeline Pankhurst statue. Voting closes on 30 March 2017, with the winner announced in early April.

The Manchester-born Suffragette leader who campaigned tirelessly for women’s rights will become the first woman to get a public statue in Manchester in over 100 years. Pankhurst will take her place alongside Manchester’s sixteen male statues and the statue of Queen Victoria in 2019 – just over a century after her work first achieved voting rights for women.   

Andrew Simcock, Chair of the Emmeline Pankhurst Statue Campaign, says, “This project is to celebrate the role women have played in Manchester, and from the very beginning the response has been amazing.” 

“The shortlist features the designs of six sculptors whose beautiful maquettes have captured the imagination of everyone who has seen them, and generated great excitement around the prospect of the statue that will ultimately be created.  Each expresses the story and strength of Emmeline Pankhurst in its own unique way.”

The winning sculptor will be announced in early April, with work then commencing on the statue that will be located, subject to planning permission, in St Peter’s Square.

Competing for the honour of creating the statue are shortlisted artists Sean Hedges-Quinn, Martin Jennings, Hazel Reeves, Amelia Rowcroft, Nick Roberson and (daughter and father team) Roxy and Steve Winterburn.

Voters can view and choose from the six 40cm maquettes at Manchester Art Gallery until 30 March, or make their decision online

The winning sculptor will be announced in early April, with work then commencing on the statue that will be located, subject to planning permission, in St Peter’s Square. An inspiring educational programme will support the creation of the statute to engage schools and communities in the legacy of Emmeline Pankhurst and the role women have played, and continue to play, in Manchester.

Following the increasing celebration of Manchester-made women, Her Hidden Histories project has received £67,300 Heritage Lottery Fund support. Run by award-winning community arts organisation enJOY arts, the innovative young women’s project will creatively explore the historical challenges faced by women through drama and performance.

Commenting on the award, Erica Adkins, Project Manager, said “We are thrilled to have received the support of Heritage Lottery Fund as we feel passionately that creative heritage projects for young women are needed more now than ever before. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Manchester’s small heritage venues to enable today’s young women to take inspiration from the trailblazers of the past.”

Manchester City Councillor, Sarah Judge, said “The Her Hidden Histories project is yet again another fantastic piece of innovation by enJOY arts. The project is set to engage many young women in aspects of the arts and history that they had never thought of before, tying it all together in a way that makes it really accessible. As leader for women at Manchester City Council I'm delighted to see a project that is sure to inspire and empower young women from all backgrounds to step out of their comfort zone and try something new.”

The project is also being supported using funding from Arts Council England and the Granada Foundation.