Plans to install a permanent £250,000 Nelson Mandela memorial in Liverpool’s Princes Park have been backed by a global organisation.
A tribute could be created on the lake island within the park in 2018 to tie in with what would have been Mandela’s 100th birthday.
The Nelson Mandela Memorial Campaign (Mandela8) would also reinstate a bridge link as part of the project.
UNI Global Union – a conglomerate of unions representing 20 million workers in the skills and service sectors – has announced it will be a major supporter.
The scheme, which has already been endorsed by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, would also provide space for learning, events and reflection as it aims to convey Mandela’s life, his love of gardens and horticulture, and his teaching and passion for equality and humanity.
In addition to the memorial, more than £300,000 is being spent by Liverpool City Council to restore the surrounding lake including reinstating the water channel, fixing edging stones, putting in fishing platforms and ecological improvements.
On supporting the Princes Park project, Phillip Jennings, general secretary of UNI Global Union, says: “UNI Global Union fully supports this project which is close to our hearts. We will remember Mandela at our World Congress in Liverpool in June next year.
“In these times of hate, racism and xenophobia, Mandela and the anti-apartheid movement, which unions around the world supported, remain a beacon of truth and hope.
“The bridge and the memorial in Princes Park will stand as part of the legacy from our Liverpool Congress to the people of the city and a link between our world congresses in Cape Town 2014 and Liverpool 2018.”
Councillor Steve Munby, Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for neighbourhoods, adds: “The Nelson Mandela Memorial plans have continued to steadily progress and will be an exciting addition to Princes Park and help attract more people to spend time there.
“He was made a Freeman of the City in 1994 and it is very fitting that Liverpool should be aiming to honour him. Plans to improve the area surrounding the memorial are in progress.”
Mandela8 chair Lynn Collins says the location of the memorial will help attract visitors and tourists to Princes Park and “creates an opportunity to break down barriers, build bridges and create links on many levels connected to humanity and diversity”.
The scheme is supported by Liverpool City Council, the North West TUC and National Museums Liverpool.