National Memorial Arboretum receives £2.85million grant from Heritage Lottery Fund

Passing the second stage of the HLF application process, for which detailed plans on all aspects of the proposed development were submitted, has meant a significant boost for the Arboretum’s £12million appeal.

The National Memorial Arboretum, which opened in 2001 and is the UK’s year round centre for remembrance, comprises 150 acres of trees and over 230 individual memorials. It is a spiritually uplifting place that honours the fallen, recognises service and sacrifice and helps to foster pride in our country.

A key component of the Arboretum's appeal is the creation of a Remembrance Learning Centre, for which planning permission has now been granted. This will have a strong focus on helping to explain to visitors the importance and meaning of remembrance and the significance of the arboretum, which is part of the Royal British Legion's family of charities. It also hopes to attract people from even more diverse groups to visit the arboretum and plans to recruit and train 70 new volunteers to work alongside staff members and the current team of 130 volunteers.

Commenting on the HLF award, Major General Patrick Cordingley, Chairman of the Appeal, said: "We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has recognised the importance of the Arboretum. Our country will at last have a Centre for Remembrance which is worthy of the sacrifice made by so many whether in the military of civil services. The additional space will help us educate many more children and provide extensive facilities for family and group visits. We are extremely grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for their support."

Dame Jenny Abramsky, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: "The National Memorial Arboretum has been the UK’s main centre for remembrance for over a decade. The Heritage Lottery Fund is honoured to be supporting plans to develop the site more widely and applauds the project's ambitions to stimulate debate around what remembrance means to individuals. The recruiting and training of volunteers is particularly important as it will provide people with new skills in how to engage sensitively with a range of visitors, including schoolchildren and those experiencing personal loss."

To contribute towards the NMA appeal and to play a part in creating a world-class Centre for Remembrance, please visit NMA's JustGiving page.

Notes to editors

The National Memorial Arboretum is the UK’s year round Centre for Remembrance; a spiritually uplifting place which honours the fallen, recognises service and sacrifice, and fosters pride in our country. The Arboretum is part of the Royal British Legion family of charities. Sited in the heart of the nation, with 50,000 maturing trees and 230 memorials, it is a beautiful and lasting tribute to those who serve their country or who have died in conflict.

Visitors from all walks of life number around 300,000 per year, including service personnel, veterans, students of all ages, groups and individuals. Over 200 special events are held annually. The Act of Remembrance, including a silence, is observed daily in the Millennium Chapel.

The Arboretum, situated on land gifted by Lafarge, is home to the striking Armed Forces Memorial which commemorates those who have been killed on duty or as a result of terrorism from the end of the Second World War to the current conflict in Afghanistan.

A £12million redevelopment campaign is in place for the creation of a world-class remembrance centre worthy of those who give so much to our country. Thanks to the generous donations and pledges received to date, the fund is now over halfway to its target.

Further information

The Royal British Legion: Andrew Baud on 07775 715 775,
HLF press office: Katie Owen on 020 7591 6036 / 07973 613 820.