|Posted by Andy Whiles on October 15, 2011 at 7:40 PM|
The National Memorial Arboretum (NMA) could be in line to receive £3m funding from Staffordshire County Council.
Councillors are to discuss proposals, which would earmark £500,000 a year for the next six years to the centre of remembrance in Alrewas. The money would go towards an appeal set up by the arboretum to develop facilities at the site, which attracts 300,000 visitors a year. The proposal will be discussed by the council's cabinet on 19 October.
There are 200 memorials at the NMA dedicated to the memory of people who have served their country. Since the dedication of the Armed Forces Memorial in 2007, visitor numbers have increased from about 60,000 a year to 300,000. In 2009, the NMA launched an appeal to raise £12m to develop new facilities and "build a world-class centre for remembrance.”
Andrew Baud, spokesman for The Royal British Legion, said predictions suggested that, with the right facilities, the number of visitors would grow to 500,000 a year.
Staffordshire County Council leader, Councillor Philip Atkins, said the NMA was an "essential part of the Staffordshire success story.”
"The National Memorial Arboretum is at the heart of our collective sense of identity. It is a symbol of remembrance for the sacrifices that past generations have made to protect our freedom and prosperity. It's forecast that the NMA will contribute about £25m into the wider economy a year and nearly £6m of that will come into Staffordshire next year," he said.