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Monuments: Preservation

Volume 497: debated on Tuesday 13 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what funds his Department makes available for preservation of war memorials. (292381)

The Memorials Grant Scheme is administered by DCMS and operates UK-wide. It gives grants equivalent to the VAT incurred by charities and faith groups to establish or repair public memorial structures. It is not possible to say how much funding has been disbursed specifically to support war memorials, but the scheme has given grants worth almost £1.5 million in England since 2005, of which over £1.1 million has helped to establish the Armed Forces Memorial.

English Heritage is the Government-sponsored body responsible for protecting and promoting England’s spectacular historic environment and ensuring that its past is researched and understood. Accordingly, English Heritage and the Wolfson Foundation, in association with the War Memorials Trust, provide further grants for the repair and conservation of free-standing war memorials in England.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what statutory powers he has in respect of the protection of war memorials in the UK. (292382)

There are estimated to be more than 60,000 war memorials throughout the United Kingdom. Statutory designation through listing is the route by which war memorials can be protected as structures of special architectural or historic interest. Where a war memorial is listed or forms part of a listed building, the Secretary of State has the power to undertake urgent works or ultimately to compulsorily purchase it if proper steps are not being taken to preserve it. These powers fall in the first instance to local authorities. Any works to memorials that are listed buildings would require the relevant consent.