Detail of works to highlight monument confirmed

A high view angle of the Handley monument.
Improvements to the area around Handley Monument which will better highlight its importance as a historic Sleaford landmark will start in January 2024.

Improvements to the area around Handley Monument which will better highlight its importance as a historic Sleaford landmark will start in January 2024. 

North Kesteven District Council is using the UK Shared Prosperity Fund to make improvements which will highlight and reflect the character of the Grade II listed Handley Monument by uplighting it and improving the space around it. 
The changes include:

  • A new electricity supply and low energy LED feature lighting, to highlight its architectural features and fully showcase it as a gateway feature to Sleaford town centre as people enter via Southgate.
  • An information board detailing the monument’s history and Henry Handley who it commemorates. 
  • Two new planters, each filled with a mix of planting to brighten up the area and with benches incorporated. Both of the existing trees are being retained within the planters.
  • Re-paving the area around the new planters, and giving the rest of the existing paving around the monument a good clean. 
  • A new bicycle rack incorporated into one of the planters. 
  • Removal of bollards where safe to do so, for better flow and accessibility by reducing the amount of street clutter. 
  • The existing private access to the land behind the properties next to the monument will be maintained. 

The project acts on a public survey which was carried out last autumn by North Kesteven District Council on the Handley Monument project. When asked what improvements should be made around the monument, the top response from respondents was ‘lighting the monument’, followed by ‘removal of signage and clutter’, and then ‘seating and landscaping’, and this is the work taking place. 

The project has also been developed together with a stakeholder group including Sleaford Town Council and the Sleaford and District Civic Trust, and it has been shared with businesses next to the works. The Handley Monument project has been allocated £165,000 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Henry Handley served as MP for S. Lincolnshire from 1832 to 1837. He is also known for his interest in agricultural improvements at the time, including acting as an advocate for steam power. After his death in 1846 more than £940 was raised by the public towards this monument in his name, and it was completed in 1852.

North Kesteven District Council Economic Development Manager Alan Gray said: 

“Handley Monument is one of the first things that welcomes people into Sleaford as they come in through Southgate and is a very important part of the town’s character and heritage, so it’s exciting to be improving the space around it. 

"The scheme also represents positive investment into this part of the town, creating a more attractive space for residents and visitors to enjoy the monument while also visiting nearby businesses and Sleaford Museum. 

“Installation of the new power supply is expected in January 2024, followed by the new lighting for the monument to be installed over February and March. 

"Once appointed, a contractor will then carry out the main public realm improvements including the new planters and benches in early summer. 

"We’ll be able to confirm exact timescales for this once the contractor is appointed. Recognising that this is a busy area of town, they will also look to keep disruption to a minimum.”

Meanwhile, work is underway to define the shape of new improvements which are set for Monument Gardens, which is next to Sleaford Museum on Southgate. 

A survey was undertaken this autumn asking how people rate Monument Garden’s facilities, and funding for the improvements will be provided by the Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. For more information visit the GOV.UK website.

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