The creation of a new Memorial Garden in Ashington has moved a step closer with confirmation of a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
Today Ashington Town Council has received funding of £44,000 from HLF which will see an enhanced war memorial developed in the town.
Work will include new plaques to recognise the town’s fallen in the two World Wars, providing an opportunity to address significant omissions and errors on the current memorial.
A smaller memorial will also be developed to recognise service given in conflicts after 1945.
The Ashington Memorial Garden project has been developed by Ashington Town Council who are working closely with the Royal British Legion and the Western Front Association, as well as local historians and enthusiasts who have formed a working group to oversee the development.
As part of the grant the town council will also work with schools in Ashington to develop information boards to be placed within the garden.
Through developing the boards this will give the children greater understanding of armed conflict and how the Ashington community served their country.
The garden will be developed on the current Kenilworth Road site in the town and will provide a quality setting for Remembrance Day and Armed Forces Day events as well as providing an area for quiet reflection.
Mayor of Ashington, Coun Maggie Lang, said: “We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has supported this project.
“It has been recognised for a number of years that the existing war memorial was not fit for purpose and the funding will give us the opportunity to address the significant errors and omissions on the current memorial.
“Staff from the town Ccuncil have worked with the Royal British Legion and Western Front Association and almost 150 names will be added to the memorial of people who are currently not recognised.”
Ivor Crowther, head of Heritage Lottery Fund North East, said: “We are pleased to be supporting this project which will provide a fitting way to mark the Centenary of the First World War and subsequent wars post 1945.
“The memorial garden will encourage local people of all ages in Ashington to come together and remember those who lost their lives.”