Cash available to restore county war memorials

Midlothian MSP Colin Beattie lays a wreath at the Dalkeith memorial
Midlothian MSP Colin Beattie lays a wreath at the Dalkeith memorial

Community groups across Midlothian are being encouraged to apply for funding to have local war memorials renovated.

The Centenary Memorials Restoration Fund (CMRF) is a £1 million fund, launched by former First Minister Alex Salmond in 2013, to help communities across Scotland undertake necessary repair and conservation work on local war memorials.

The fund forms a central part of the Scottish Government’s commemorations of the centenary of the First World War.

Colin Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, said: “Our local war memorials are a mark of history and a tribute to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. 

“While so many communities take great care of local memorials, upkeep can be expensive – and it is a real shame when these memorials are visibly in need of repair.”

He added: “It would be great if as many repair projects as possible could be completed in time for the centenary of Armistice Day in 2018.”

Christine Grahame, the Midlothian South MSP, said: “I would encourage anyone in my constituency who knows of a project that could benefit from this fund to get in touch with the War Memorials Trust.”

Local war historian John Duncan urged any groups to take advantage of funding to maintain local memorials.

He suggested that the memorial at Easthouses needed attention as the winged goddess required repair.

Mr Duncan said age was taking its toll on the monuments.

He said: “Carrington and Cockpen were among the first in the 1920s. Some of the memorials are badly weathered and most are 90 years old, by and large.

“It is things like lettering – it gets hard to read when weathering takes its toll.

“Gorebridge is a bit of an eyesore with all the work going on round about it.

“It will require some TLC,” he added.

For further information about the scheme, go to www.warmemorials.org/apply