A NATIONAL centre of remembrance near Burton has been awarded £2.85 million by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) towards its ambitious development plans.
The National Memorial Arboretum, near Alrewas, has revealed that it has passed the second stage of a tough application process, providing a significant boost for the arboretum’s £12 million appeal.
The plans will see demolition of its outdated visitor facilities with them being replaced with state-of-the-art new buildings.
Major General Patrick Cordingley, chairman of the appeal, said: “We are delighted that the HLF has recognised the importance of the Arboretum.
“Our country will at last have a Centre for Remembrance which is worthy of the sacrifice made by so many, whether in the military or civil services.
“The additional space will help us educate many more children and provide extensive facilities for family and group visits. We are extremely grateful to the HLF for their support.”
The funding will help the creation of a Remembrance Learning Centre that will be used to explain to visitors the importance and meaning of remembrance and the significance of the arboretum.
Dame Jenny Abramsky, chairman of the HLF, said: “The National Memorial Arboretum has been the UK’s main centre for remembrance for over a decade.
“The HLF is honoured to be supporting plans to develop the site more widely and applauds the project’s ambitions to stimulate debate around what remembrance means to individuals.
“The recruiting and training of volunteers is particularly important as it will provide people with new skills in how to engage sensitively with a range of visitors, including schoolchildren and those experiencing personal loss.”
The development plans include a treelined processional entrance, central atrium and ‘Heroes’ Square’, a partially covered outdoor space to be used for major events such as Remembrance Sunday.