Philanthropist John Caudwell has pledged £200,000, while the DCMS is to contribute a further £400,000 to the cost of the memorial dedication ceremony.
Maria Miller said:
“The memorial to the heroes of Bomber Command in London’s Green Park is a solemn and beautiful tribute to the bravery of those who flew, and made the ultimate sacrifice, for us all during World War II.
“It is absolutely right that public funding be made available for this, and that we move decisively now to do so. I am extremely grateful to John Caudwell in his efforts to bring this matter to closure, and to all those people whose generosity in making donations, large and small, have helped us to get to this point. Those surviving veterans from that campaign can rest easy tonight knowing that their fund-raising efforts are complete, and that they will not have to dip into their own pockets to make up the shortfall.”
John Caudwell said:
“I am delighted the government has chosen to recognise the importance of the need to relieve veterans and trustees of the Bomber Command Association of the worry associated with knowing there was a cash shortfall, and a very real danger of financial ruin for the trustees.
“In truth, this did drag on too long, and perhaps the least the government could do for the families, friends and colleagues of the 55,573 airmen from Bomber Command who gave their lives to give us the freedom we have today, was to make a further contribution in recognition of their sacrifice.”
The DCMS announced a grant of £796,000 towards the creation of a permanent memorial to honour the 55,573 men of Bomber Command who lost their lives in World War II in February this year. A grant of £204,000 was also given to the project under the Government’s Memorials Grant Scheme, bringing total DCMS support for the project before today to £1 million.
Notes to Editors
The RAF Bomber Command Association (BCA) and the Heritage Foundation have campaigned since 2008 for a memorial to commemorate the 55,573 men of the RAF Bomber Command that lost their lives in World War II.
Planning consent was granted by Westminster City Council in May 2010 to allow the memorial to be built in Green Park. BCA opened the memorial in June 2012.
The memorial has been funded mainly through donations from veterans and their families. The total cost of the memorial is believed to be between £5m and £7m.
John Caudwell is an entrepreneur and philanthropist. John sold his mobile telecoms business, which included high street chain Phones 4u, in 2006, for £1.5 billion. He has since focused on philanthropic work, supporting causes as varied as the Bomber Command Memorial, the Prince’s Regeneration Trust, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, and the charity he founded, Caudwell Children, which assists children with severe, terminal or life-threatening conditions and illnesses.
Press Enquiries: 020 7211 2210
Out of hours telephone pager no: 07699 751153
Public Enquiries: 020 7211 6000