House of Commons fundraising drive to honour Hull trawlermen
A MAJOR fundraising drive to create a new memorial to Hull's lost trawlermen is being launched today in the House of Commons.
Fishing heritage group Stand is aiming to raise £250,000 after collecting £140,000 over the past 20 years.
The ambitious new target has been set after the Hull charity secured agreement on a site for the proposed memorial at St Andrew's Quay.
Today's event is being hosted by the city's three MPs to coincide with the start of a design competition for the memorial which is intended to commemorate about 6,000 fishermen who sailed from the port but never returned.
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Hull West and Hessle MP Alan Johnson said: "One of the principle objectives of Stand has been to establish a permanent memorial to the 6,000 fishermen who lost their lives at sea over the last century.
"The memorial will honour the memories of those lost trawlermen, record the importance of the industry in the development of Hull and acknowledge the debt the city and the nation owes to the fishing community."
Mr Johnson said the Parliamentary launch of the fundraising drive was intended to ensure a high profile for the campaign.
Guests will include fellow MPs, business leaders and city council leader Steve Brady.
Mr Johnson said: "Having established the site for the memorial and raised in excess of £140,000 through local fundraising, we now need to realise the rest of the money necessary to provide the high-quality memorial that the fishermen, their families and the city deserves.
"The community in Hull has shown tremendous support for Stand so far.
"This is now the opportunity for the business community, many of whom have a history intertwined with the life of what was the biggest fishing port in the world, to show their support and acknowledge the debt we all owe to the fishermen who gave their lives to this industry that has played and continues to play such a vital role for the nation."
Stand treasurer Ron Wilkinson said the estimated cost of commissioning, installing and maintaining a memorial had been drawn up by a consultant working for the charity.
He said: "Securing legal agreement on the site was the most important step for us. Now that has been settled, we are looking forward to raising the necessary funding to make it happen."
Some of the funding will also be used to carry out underground investigations at the site, which is close to the Sailmakers Arms.
The memorial is scheduled to be ready in April 2014.