Coleridge poem plans take another knock

Plans to commemorate Ottery’s most famous son have suffered another setback as a further funding avenue was closed.

The Coleridge Memorial Project has been trying to create a monument to the celebrated poet in the town but was told last month the scheme it had applied to has had its own funding cut by the Government.

Chairman Chris Wakefield explained: “The current plan is to engrave Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s iconic poem ‘Kubla Khan’ in its entirety along the edge of the new footpath across the Land of Canaan recreation grounds.”

The proposal, which according to the group could be the longest single line of engraved poetry in the world, was about to be re-submitted to the ‘Making it Local’ fund, but the scheme, which provides money for rural businesses and communities, wrote to the CMP to say they were no longer accepting any new proposals for new projects pending a review.

The group had initially submitted plans for a sculpture of Coleridge, who was born in Ottery in 1772, along with the poem engraving, for �100,000 last November.

The bid was deferred in February when they were asked to submit a new proposal which focuses exclusively on the poetry stones, but before the Coleridge Memorial Project had sent it off they received a letter announcing a funding suspension for ‘Making It Local’.

They have been asked to submit a new application in May in the hope the funding may come back in the autumn, but this is not the first setback for the project, who failed in their application for the Section 106 money from the Town Council provided by the Sainsbury’s development.

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Chris Wakefield says they group remain committed to creating a memorial to Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and are exploring whether the Heritage Lottery Fund will be able to help them.