War memorial maintenance

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AN ADDITIONAL £1 million has been added to a fund to preserve war memorials and memories of those who died at war in Scotland.

The country’s war memorials will be cleaned and restored in readiness for the centenary of the beginning of the First World War through a new fund being made available to communities across the country.

The additional £1 million for the Centenary Memorials Restoration Fund,announced by First Minister Alex Salmond on Monday, will pay for the upgrade and maintenance of memorials in villages, towns and cities in Scotland that pay tribute to those who gave their lives during both world wars and other conflicts.

Speaking during a visit to the Fyvie war memorial in Aberdeenshire, the First Minister said the new fund would help people in communities across Scotland to continue to pay their respects to those who fell during conflict through the upkeep of war memorials.

First Minister Alex Salmond said: “The events in 2014 to mark the anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War will not be a celebration in Scotland, but a commemoration of the servicemen and women who paid the ultimate price in defence of our country.”

Nigel Don MSP said: “This is an excellent opportunity for local community groups in my constituency as well as the local Royal British Legion Scotland to apply for funds to upgrade or repair the war memorials as a matter of respect to our fallen heroes. Most local families will have lost someone in the Great War and many in the wars since then, and I agree with the First Minister that we should make 2014 a year of commemoration.”

Historic Scotland has supported the conservation and repair of war memorials in Scotland since 2008 through a dedicated grant scheme administered by the War Memorials Trust (WMT). The creation of this new fund, which is open now, will allow communities across Scotland to carry out maintenance of memorials as part the 100th anniversary of the First World War.

For any enquiries about grants telephone 0131 668 8801 or email hs.grants@scotland.gsi.gov.uk.

The funding will be available over the course of the four-year centenary commemorations from 2014-18 to allow communities to choose the best time to restore their war memorials, from the start of commemorations in August 2014 until Armistice Day 2018.