Suffolk’s high sheriff backs Newmarket statue plan

King Charles II ANL-141029-140102001
King Charles II ANL-141029-140102001
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A plan to install a statue of King Charles II, in Newmarket where he established horse racing has been resurrected.

The original scheme put forward by the Save Historic Newmarket Action Group (Shnag) for the statue to be place on the clock tower roundabout which was backed by Suffolk County Council was shelved back in 2010, when it failed to win support from town councillors who felt the location was not appropriate.

But on Monday Suffolk’s High Sheriff, Nick Wingfield-Digby told town councillors the group now hoped the statue could contribute to efforts to improve the look of the town centre.

“I have been involved with a group which has been discussing some proposals for improvements to the High Street and the first thin we were hoping to do was to re-introduce the idea of a statue on the clock tower roundabout and that figure should be King Charles II.”

He said the statue would be a copy of one currently in the Old Bailey in London and the idea would that it would be turning towards Palace Street and the new National Horseracing Heritage Centre currently under construction and due to open early in 2016.

“We are already quite a long way down the road with this and I am really quite encouraged that the re is significant support for the idea,” said Mr Wingfield-Digby.

He said funding for the statue would come from donations and not from the public purse.

“I think this project is potentially transformational for Newmarket and could seriously enhance the atmosphere as people come into the town.”

Mr Wingfield-Digby said he was aware of the town retailers’ project for racing sculptures in the High Street and felt the two ideas would complement each other.

“I think the two things can be brought together to open up Newmarket ,” he said.

The proposed location for the statue is a stone’s throw from where King Charles’s Newmarket palace once stood on a site now partially occupied by the Rutland Arms Hotel.