First Minister hails Memorials Restoration Fund

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Scotland’s war memorials will be cleaned and restored in readiness for the anniversary 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 today - 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.

Mr 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 Aberdeenshire village of Fyvie, for example, lost 67 men from that parish on the battlefields of Europe – a figure that represented a devastating blow to such a small community. Some of those men fought for other countries - Australia, Canada and New Zealand - but each will have left loved ones and ancestors behind in Aberdeenshire who will never forget them.

“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.”

There are estimated to be between 5,000 to 6,000 memorials to the war dead across Scotland. Historic Scotland has supported the sensitive 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 the new fund will allow communities across Scotland to carry out maintenance of memorials as part the 100th anniversary of the First World War.

Any enquiries about grants should be sent to Historic Scotland Investment Team at Longmore House, Salisbury Place, Edinburgh EH 9 ASH. Tel: 0131 668 8801.