National Memorial Arboretum funding cuts a ‘national disgrace’

Cuts to funding for the National Memorial Arboretum have been labelled “a national disgrace”.

The National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas

The National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas

Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant has called on the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to reverse its decision to axe funding for the Alrewas armed forces memorial centre.

And he described the original decision as an “embarrassment”.

“The National Memorial Arboretum (NMA) and the Armed Forces Memorial are an iconic centre for national Remembrance,” he said. “I know that public finances are tight, but visitors to the NMA are a testimony to the project’s success which rivals that of the Cenotaph in London.

“This is an embarrassment and a national disgrace. I shall work with the NMA to pile the pressure on the Ministry of Defence into supplying adequate funding.”

Mr Fabricant has also questioned how the decision has been reached after learning that other funded venues did not have the level of visitor numbers that the NMA does.

He added: “In 2012-2013 The Royal Navy Museum had 585,276 visitors and will receive as a grant from the MoD in 2014-2015 of £3,444,000 to support it. Similarly, the National Army Museum had 254,108 visitors and will receive £6,540,000, while the Royal Air Force Museum had around 500,000 visitors and will receive £8,336,000.

“But the grant has been cut to the National Memorial Arboretum. It had 244,944 visitors in 2012-2013 but now will receive no grant at all – except for £625,000 found from another fund not managed by the MoD.”

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