Warm welcome for cash to spruce up war memorials

VANDALISED and neglected war memorials could be restored to their rightful state - thanks to new funding.

Money is being made available for monuments across Scotland – and East Dunbartonshire groups are being urged to apply for a share.

The Scottish Government has announced an additional £1million for the Centenary Memorials Restoration Fund.

Fiona McLeod, MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden, said: “I attended the Bishopbriggs Remembrance Sunday events last year and noticed there was lettering missing and there were calls in 2011 to have Captain George Hunt recognised for his war-time activity at the Milton of Campsie memorial.

“This additional funding from the Scottish Government will help contribute to refurbishing, repairing and restoring the country’s monuments to the men and women who gave their lives protecting their country in time for the First World War commemoration events starting in 2014.

“It would be great to see East Dunbartonshire honour its servicemen and women in this way.

“I intend to write to all the local community councils, churches and the British Legion Scotland to encourage them to apply for a grant to refurbish local memorials and offer to support their application.”

The grant scheme is being administered by Historic Scotland and the War Memorials Trust.

The funding will be available over the course of the four-year World War I centenary commemorations from 2014-18 to allow communities to choose the best time to restore their war memorials.

East Dunbartonshire MP Jo Swinson said: “War memorials remind us of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

“This fund will allow local monuments that have fallen victim to theft, vandalism or neglect to be returned to first-class condition in time to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.”

Any enquiries about grants should be sent to Historic Scotland Investment Team at Longmore House, Salisbury Place, Edinburgh, EH9 ASH. Telephone 0131 668 8801 or e-mail hs.grants@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

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 pay tribute to those fallen.”

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