Published: 24/08/2015 08:28 - Updated: 24/08/2015 08:35

Communities urged to appeal for War Memorial restoration funding

War Memorial
War Memorial

NINE war memorials damaged by weathering and pollution have been restored at a cost of £80,000 - and work to repair a further 45 is underway, councillors have heard.

The refurbishment scheme, funded by the Scottish Government, Highland Council and towns and villages, is part of an ambitious drive to restore more than 180 monuments in Highland between now and 2018.

The council has a £303,000 restoration fund and the government opened a £1 million grant to community bids in 2013.

And Highland Council’s community services committee chairman Allan Henderson is appealing to local communities to apply for the fund.

He said: "There is still funding available for war memorial restorations and it is vital the local people identify where the priorities are and how we can help make improvements. I would urge anyone who is interested to keep contact their local councillor or community council to find out how they can get involved."

Workshops will be held in October aimed at community councils and local groups to help increase the uptake of funding applications for war memorial restoration projects.

A report to the community service committee on Thursday said the local authority has already spent £9,000 completing restoration projects, but a further £37,000 has been committed to schemes currently in progress.

The £80,000 spent repairing Highland war memorials since 2013 was met with £46,000 from the Scottish Government’s £1 million Centenary Memorial Restoration Fund (CMRF), £12,000 braised by communities and £22,000 from the council, including £9,000 from its war monument repair fund.

The Lovat Scout memorial at Beauly is one of the nine memorial restoration projects that have been completed.

It was installed in Beauly Square in 1905 to commemorate the gallantry of the Lovat Scouts, a renowned sharpshooting unit from the Highlands, but some of the stonework became worn and metalwork eroded.

The restoration was funded by a £15,480 grant from the government’s £1 million fund plus £1,125 from Beauly Community Council. A £170 contribution was also made by the Beauly Co-operative in conjunction with pupils from the village primary school whose artwork highlighting the need for the restoration project was displayed in the store.

In Inverness-shire the memorial at Kilmallie to Colonel John Cameron, who died in one of the opening engagements at the Battle of Waterloo, received £14,400 from the CMRF.

There are an estimated 6,000 war memorials in Scotland with up to 10 per cent thought to be in poor or very poor condition.

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