Details of £5 million fund to ensure First World War memorials are "fitting tributes to the fallen" announced

Posted on on 08 July 2014
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The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, and the Culture Secretary, Sajid Javid, have given further details of a £5 million fund to preserve First World War memorials.

The initial announcement of the £5 million was made in December 2013, while the Prime Minister was visiting Belgium with his Irish counterpart, Enda Kenny.

In his announcement on the 1st July 2014 with the Culture Secretary, the Prime Minister said that the money "will help ensure that local communities can access the funds they need repair, protect and conserve, repair and conserve war memorials across the country, so that they can remain places of respect for future generations and help people to better understand what happened a century ago".

He stated that it was important that the UK's war memorials were "fitting tributes to the fallen".

Up to £3 million will be allocated to the War Memorials trust over the four year period of 2014-18 to support their grant schemes and to expand their team of Conservation Officers.

The Imperial War Museum, which will play a central role in the UK's Centenary commemorations, will receive £500,000 from the fund in order to develop a website to help communities find out where information about war memorials can be found. The site will be delivered by the 4th August 2014 - the Centenary of the UK's declaration of war on Germany.

English Heritage, which restored the Cenotaph in London ahead of the Centenary, has also been awarded half a million pounds, which be used to provide better protection for war memorials by tripling the amount listed memorials and to increase the number of specialists needed to maintain them. They will also develop an education toolkit for schools, allowing pupils to research local memorials.

Civic Voice has been allocated £500,000 to create a national network of volunteers, who, over the Centenary period, who will be given training in how to assess te condition of war memorials and encourage their conservation.

Options are currently being explored as to how the final half a million pounds should be spent.

Source: UK Government press release

Images courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Posted by: Daniel Barry, Centenary News