Lifeline thrown to DH Lawrence centre


April 6th, 2011

The University has offered £105,000 to help ensure the future of the DH Lawrence visitor centre.

The University is hoping to work with Broxtowe Borough Council in a long-term partnership to safeguard Durban House and end the uncertainty over its future.

Durban House – in Lawrence’s hometown of Eastwood, Nottinghamshire – attracts visitors from all over the world and has hosted the month-long DH Lawrence Festival for seven years. But its future has been in doubt for the last three years due to issues over funding.

As part of the proposal, the centre would support the University’s outreach activities with schools, to raise aspirations and increase access to university. Other joint opportunities include summer schools, creative writing links, short courses, lectures, events and exhibitions drawing on the University’s nationally designated DH Lawrence Collection and related archives.

DH Lawrence (1885-1930) is the University’s most famous literary son, studying at the then University College Nottingham more than a century ago. The University’s collection of original Lawrence manuscripts, first editions, letters, photographs, biographical writings, paintings and other materials – some dating back to Lawrence’s time as a student from 1906 to 1908 – is one of the most extensive in the world.

Prof Karen Cox, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Access and Community Relations, said: “We hope this will be the start of a long and fruitful partnership between the University and Broxtowe Borough Council. We are pleased to be able to support Durban House in this way and see numerous opportunities to share University resources and work with the local community in a mutually beneficial way.”

Under the proposal, the University will provide £105,000 over two years. Day-to-day running of the centre will remain with the council. The University would have a dedicated room for activities in widening participation, education, outreach and research. The move follows the University’s unsuccessful bid to the Arts and Humanities Research Council in 2009, for funding to secure the future of the centre.

Leader of the Council, Coun David Watts, and Portfolio Holder for Housing Leisure and Culture, Coun Milan Radulovic, said: “This is excellent news. A partnership with The University of Nottingham provides the ideal platform for the future of Durban House and will provide a superb opportunity for its development in the future.”

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