The Armed Forces Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum is set to be spruced up as the government announces £1 million for its maintenance and repair.
The government is also committing to fund the memorial in Staffordshire, which commemorates over 16,000 personnel who have died on duty since the end of WWII, through to the end of the next Parliament.
The funding comes as the Prime Minister seeks to get agreement for an unprecedented international Armed Forces Declaration at the NATO summit in Wales this week.
The Declaration would follow the UK’s Military Covenant - strengthening support for the Armed Forces across the Alliance’s 28 member countries and promoting the sharing of best practice, for example on the provision of medical care for injured personnel and their families.
Welsh veterans will also benefit from new Covenant funding announced today. The government will invest £2.26 million from the LIBOR fines to support veterans who are homeless, wounded, injured or sick to access local housing and support services in Wales.
The First Choice Housing Association’s Veterans Accommodation Pathway project will address the housing needs of veterans from across the UK that wish to settle in Wales and the borders by supporting their transition into civilian life and employment. Projects will run in Wrexham, Ceredigion and Flintshire.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
For the last 4 years, I’ve put strengthening respect and increasing support for our Armed Forces at the heart of this government’s agenda.
This week, I want to build on that at the NATO summit in Wales by establishing a new NATO Alliance Declaration that will set out our shared commitment to supporting our Armed Forces and their families and providing them with the help they need.
We must also ensure we honour properly those who have given their lives in the service of their country and that’s why this extra funding for the Armed Forces Memorial is so important. It will ensure we maintain this special place where families and friends can go to remember their loved ones.
And I’m pleased that we are also continuing our work to support veterans across the country. This LIBOR funding will help veterans in Wrexham, Ceredigion and Flintshire to make the transition into civilian life, providing assistance as they find new jobs and homes.
The Armed Forces Memorial, dedicated by The Queen in 2007, provides a place for remembrance and reflection for those who have lost loved ones. The names of those who have died in the preceding year are added annually and are dedicated at a service in the presence of family members. The 17 personnel killed in 2013 will be dedicated on the Armed Forces Memorial this Monday.
Dr. Chris Simpkins, Director General of The Royal British Legion, said:
The Legion and the Trustees of the Armed Forces Memorial are delighted that the government continues to recognise the importance of the Legion’s National Memorial Arboretum at the year-round Centre of Remembrance and of maintaining the iconic Armed Forces Memorial. This new grant ensures that we can now carry out vital work to maintain the Memorial to the highest standards to honour those who have given their lives in the service of their country.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
In the same year as we commemorate the start of the First World War, it is important that we continue to recognise the sacrifices made by our Armed Forces and their families in service to this country. This funding will help do this and will build on the £105 million already distributed by this government to projects up and down the country, bringing real improvements for our Armed Forces communities.
The First Choice Housing Association’s Veterans Accommodation Pathway project will address the housing needs of veterans from across the UK that wish to settle in Wales and the borders by supporting their transition into civilian life and employment. Projects will run in Wrexham, Ceredigion and Flintshire and address the needs of those at risk of homelessness. The £2.26 million will be drawn from the £40 million Veterans Accommodation Fund which was established using the LIBOR fines.
This is the second project in Wales to receive funding this year from the LIBOR fund. Blind Veterans UK and BLESMA have received £1.25 million to support blind and injured veterans near Llandundno in North Wales.