£1 million pledged for war memorials

Scotland’s war memorials will be cleaned and restored in readiness for the centenary 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 this week - 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

Nigel Don MSP for Angus North and Mearns 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.”

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.

”Scotland’s war memorials – from the magnificent to the more modest – pay tribute to those fallen and will be an important part of the commemorations in communities the length and breadth of Scotland during 2014.

“The Fyvie memorial is maintained beautifully, but there are some in Scotland in need of upgrade to get them up to standard for the commemorations. That is why I am delighted to announce the launch of the Centenary Memorials Restoration Fund, which will offer grants to those who care for these important monuments for works to be carried out.

“Each memorial in Scotland reminds us of the sacrifice made by those who died during the Great War, the Second World War and other conflicts. They remind us of the futility of war and the necessity that we never forget the sacrifice made by those who fell in conflict.”