The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, recently visited Hougoumont Farm in Belgium to monitor ongoing restoration work ahead of the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo in 2015. The Farm is being restored thanks to a £1 million donation from the UK Government as well as funding from the Walloon Government and private sponsors.
During the visit, the Chancellor saw the progress that has been made on restoring the Farm and gave personal thanks to the reconstruction team. The Chancellor was accompanied by the British ambassador to Belgium, Jonathan Brenton.
Welcoming the visit, the British ambassador said:
The UK’s support has ensured that reconstruction work on Hougoumont Farm could go ahead. The UK government will commemorate the outbreak of the First World War in Belgium this summer. Support for this project ahead of the Waterloo bicentenary is another part of our commitment to commemorate our shared history in close co-operation with the Belgian authorities.
Hougoumont is one of the most celebrated battle-grounds in the history of the British army. The Duke of Wellington remarked that the success of the Battle turned on the closing of the gates at Hougoumont.
UK funding will help various restoration projects including the creation and installation of a memorial to the British soldiers that fought at Waterloo and a visitors centre at the farmhouse.
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